Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Tree and Some Tricks (March 20th, 2011)

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Remember that cover with the 300 year old black pine? Well this isn't it.

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It's right next to it.

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It's said this is the largest black pine in Tokyo. It is impressive. Interesting how they had it grow sideways. The trunk is up on the slope and what you see in front are all the branches being held up off the ground.

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Another tree not far away with a crowd gathered there. Of course had to go see what was so interesting.

Monday, January 30, 2012

More of the Fields of Yellow (March 20th, 2011)

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More of the rape blossoms at Hama Rikyu Garden.

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I tried really hard to get photos without people. It wasn't easy.

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But worth it I think. Keep looking for more photos.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Food for Friday: Cafe Dahab in Santa Monica

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Having at one time been an Egyptian house wife for a short period, I feel a bit of connection to the people of that country. So last year we went to a place in Santa Monica, California, where I hoped would see a bit of how people here were feeling about the events unfolding in Egypt.

I'm very glad we did to to Cafe Dahab. We kind of over ordered but with all the real authentic Egyptian food it's hard not to. Of course we didn't know the plate of khosari was going to be this big!

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We also had the three appetizers. Their ful medames was really good.

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This is what ful is suppose to look like. Except you need a big plate of pita bread with it.

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Pickles and olives, goat cheese with tomatoes, olive oil and spices.

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Humas! Can't have Egyptian food without humas. Just would seem incomplete. Really good humas at Cafe Dahab.

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So if you are in Santa Monica and wanting something different, try Cafe Dahab. They do have hookah for those so inclined.

Their website is here: Cafe Dahab
Definitely worth eating at if you like Middle Eastern food or want to try Egyptian food. There aren't many Egyptian restaurants around. This one I do recommend as an experienced eater and cook of Egyptian cuisine.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fields of Yellow (March 20th, 2011)

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From a distance you can't help but notice all the bright yellow.

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Even with all the huge buildings lining the outside of the garden the yellow fields attract people.

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People sitting viewing the yellow flowers and many with cameras.

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For this is the rape blossom fields at Hama Rikyu Garden. For more, keep looking.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Flowers of Hama Rikyu Teien (March 20th, 2011)

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Ume are not the only flowers at the Hama Rikyu Gardens.

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There are many different camellias that bloom in winter.

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Dafodills too.

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And to my surprise, violets. This was the first time I've seen violets in a garden or anywhere. It's probably too warm for them in Southern California. Please keep looking to see more.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ume Blossoms in the Grove (March 20th, 2011)

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Of course I had to take more photos. One doesn't get the chance to do this often. With all that had gone on, I was grateful to find a moment to think about something else. Being able to appreciate the beauty and elegance of these flowers close up was amazing. Keep looking to see this too.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ume Grove (March 20th, 2011)

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Just beyond the Inabu Shrine there is a grove of trees. Ume or Plum trees.

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What is great about seeing them in March is they allow people to go on the grass and see the trees up close.

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So this post is about being amongst those beautiful trees. With photos so you can see for yourself.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Stroll: Fowl at Hopkins Wilderness Park

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A bit of the birds at Hopkins Wilderness Park from June 2011.

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More interesting birds to be seen, just keep looking.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Food for Friday: Oysters on the River Bank

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I have a different Food for Friday today. I've been wanting to post more about things I cook but since my current apartment is very small and dark it's not easy to do.

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But last year I did get a chance to do something amazing. A couple years ago I decided I wanted to learn more about Japanese cooking and not just how to make certain dishes, I discovered Elizabeth Andoh's "Washoku" cook book. It was exactly what I was looking for. So I was more than happy to help her out with testing recipes last year for her new book "Kibo".

So I'm going to post some photos from one of the recipes I tested and write a bit more about her book at the end of this post. This recipe is called Oysters on the River Bank. Above is the secret miso glaze that is a key part of the recipe. If you want to know how to make it, well you will have to get the book. As for the rest of this recipe testing and more about the dish, keep reading!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ume at Hama Rikyu Garden (March 20th, 2011)

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What can I say? I may have been too early for sakura but I did get to enjoy the ume blossoms.

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And one place to see them is at Hama Rikyu Garden.

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So take a look at a few more photos of the blossoms. I was lucky that a bit of sun came out for photos.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Inabu Shrine (March 20th, 2011)

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One thing unique to Hama Rikyu Gardens is the Inabu Shrine.

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The original date of construction is not known. But an original shrine was thought to exist
in the late Edo Period in a slightly different location on the grounds.

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Considering this was a private estate it's not unheard of having a private shrine. Want to see more of the Inabu Shrine?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hama Rikyu Gardens (March 20th, 2011)

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Being once a residence of the Tokugawa family, it makes sense that there is what looks like a moat.

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There are other large ponds in the garden including one that is salt water that feeds from Tokyo Bay. Sadly because of my foot pain I did not get to see most of the garden and these ponds. I would like to one day.

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But I did see some interesting things that I will show more of very soon. And a few things in this post too.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hama Rikyu Gardens (March 20th, 2011)

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I started to walk around the gardens when I saw what appeared to be another victim of the quakes.

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A 9.0 earthquake and the only damage I found in person where stone garden lanterns. Although later I learned there were buildings in Tokyo that had bad enough cracks that they were deemed unsafe. Which was why some places were not open at all during the time I was there.

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One of the things I love about Japanese gardening is the shapes the branches end up taking. There was more to see so keep looking.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Stroll: King Harbor Marina

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Here's a few more photos from the King Harbor Marina area in Redondo Beach, California. Enjoy!

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More after the cut too. Including pelicans, pirates and gondolas.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Food for Friday: Ramen Mottainai

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Recently I had a hankering for some ramen. When you start eating good ramen it happens.

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One of the nice things about where I live right now is the fact that there are some decent ramen shops here. Can't say that about a lot of places outside of Japan but can say that about here and Ramen Mottainai.

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So come in and have a taste or two with me. And don't mind the samurai.