shrimp sushi

Hokkaido Adventures

This week the family and I headed up to Japan’s nothernmost island, Hokkaido for a quick trip. Hokkaido is known for fresh seafood and veggies. Here are some of our pics.



Our first meal was sushi and we were not disappointed. You can get the same quality in Tokyo but the bill is much higher.

shrimp sushiGorgeous shrimp sushi

japanese whitefish soupThis soup was amazing. I must find a way to make it.

ice cream in a melonI didn’t try this but it looked quite interesting.

japanese fried noodlesFried beef and noodles we had a the Autumn Festival.


Rice Cooker Love

As you can imagine, now that I’m working on a rice cooker cookbook, I have been making a lot of food in the rice cooker. I love how easy it is. With summer in full force, I don’t seem to have the usual cooking energy and five minutes of active prep works for me.

I’ve been having a harder time with cakes because I have a three cupper and cakes need a wider area like a five cupper. What a great excuse for a new rice cooker.

Here is what I’ve been working on.

Pineapple Curry Chicken

Roast beef

Daikon and chicken in a gochujang sauce

Thanksgiving Dinner 2011


We had our annual Thanksgiving Dinner today. It was great spending time with the friends that have become our extended Japan family.

I did the turkey, made two pies, quick pickled beets and some stuffing. Friends brought potato salad (purple potatoes too), quiche, bread and cheese, green salad and roasted kabocha squash. Delicious.

I don’t have any new thanksgiving recipes because at Thanksgiving and Christmas I make the same thing every year. My mom perfected turkey dinner (in my opinion) and I make everything as close as I can to the way she does.

Dessert was pumpkin pie and pumpkin cake. Actually, both were made with kabocha but it doesn’t have the same ring to it. The Keitai Goddess made the cake using my recipe and it tasted better than when I make it.

Two new veggies at the farmer’s market


My farmer’s market haul from Saturday.  It was my first trip since May since I was away all of June.  It feels better to be eating what’s in season here in Kanagawa instead of just what’s in the supermarket.  I found a completely round zucchini the other day and on Saturday I found two new vegetables.


The first new veggie I found was foot-long beans/asparagus beans (十六ささげ). You can use them just like the shorter variety you often seen in stores.


The second is called korinkii and I can’t find an English translation for it. It is similar to a kabocha squash except that you can eat it raw.  It has more of a summer squash texture when raw and tastes a little like a mild carrot. Common uses seem to be making tsukemono (pickling), adding it to salad and putting it in nimono (simmered dishes).