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Everything posted by sk_ward

  1. Popcorn in all sorts of flavors is apparently the snack of choice at Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. I couldn't believe how long people were willing to wait in line to get their souvenir buckets loaded up with regular, curry, caramel, or honey popcorn! And I thought that popcorn at the movies was expensive...
  2. I wish I could claim credit for such a cute creation! I got it at a Trandor bakery in Nagasaki. It had soft bread on the inside, with no filling. It was actually pretty good and not too sweet.
  3. Happy Holidays everyone!! Only the Japanese can make a snowman pastry so cute! Sorry he's a little blurry.
  4. Looks like it just might be tasty, right??? I thought so too and was horrified to taste it and realize that I used salt instead of sugar. I tried to salvage it and cooked it with just water, replacing the water several times, but it was a futile effort. The whole pot ended up in the garbage.
  5. I really love oinari-san and am always happy to pick some up when they go on sale in the evenings. Here is a particularly fancy pack that I picked up at Isetan. I loved the variety and they were all delicious!
  6. This was one of the items in an oden surprise bag that I bought from a kamaboko shop. I know that this (wasabizuke) is more of a "dressing" than the more traditional tsukemono, but how do all of you eat this stuff? I just ate a little bit along with my rice. There isn't much time to eat it before the expiration date arrives and it was impossible for me to get through half of it before it expired. I hate throwing food away.
  7. I tried this back in the summertime, while enjoying hanabi. It tasted just like a Japanese yogurt drink, with a kick. It was almost a little bit too easy to drink... Yogurt lovers should give it a try!
  8. My small office had a mini Christmas party, put together very spur of the moment. This is what we had to offer! Both of the cakes were purchased at Isetan in Shinjuku (which, incidentally has been recently renovated and looks great!). The chocolate cake was from Antenor and the white cake was from Clover. They were about ¥3500 each. That explains why champagne is missing and the accompaniments look very unluxurious in comparison! I love Christmas cake!! p.s. that mess back there isn't mine!
  9. Ever since Marcia posted these egg molds, I have been on a quest to find them. I've looked everywhere and I haven't been able to find any as cute. In the blog called "Lunch in a Box", she suggested using ice cream sandwich molds as egg molds, which seems to work really well for her. In case anybody is also looking for egg molds, the molds that she uses are currently on clearance at Williams-Sonoma for $6.99, down from $9.99. I like the star-shaped one the most! Paying the $5.50 for shipping isn't really worth it, but if you have other things to buy as well, it might be a nice addition to your cart. Lunch in a Box Williams-Sonoma ice cream molds
  10. Wow, I'm amazed that you've never bought a magazine in Japan. I can't seem to escape from a bookstore without buying a magazine or a cookbook!! Getting all of them back home will be a challenge. I also really enjoy the "slow-life" magazines, with ukatama being my favorite. The most recent issue is featuring beans and there are a lot of nice recipes with pictures of an idyllic life in the countryside somewhere! ukatama homepage
  11. I wanted to bring some to the States as omiyage, but after checking out a grand total of 7 convenience stores, I came out empty handed! The drink has been a big hit, I suppose!!
  12. What a coincidence that my co-worker showed up with a bottle soon after I read the original post! It's a really cool color and generated a lot of "sugoi!!"s and curiosity in the office. I thought that it tasted more like melon flavored candy than cucumber and it was a lot sweeter than I expected. It tastes more like syrup than a refreshing cucumber water beverage, but I think that I will drink it again. If anyone has ever smelled Bath & Body Work's Cucumber Melon line of products, the smell of this soda will be familiar. I'm definitely planning to bring some back home for my friends to try.
  13. I'm so glad that I woke up a little early and managed to check my e-mail! I just saw the segment and loved it! Your children are all so cute and she did a great job.
  14. I can't believe that I bought Pepsi just so that I could get one of those magnets! I stopped drinking soda when I moved here because there are just too many tasty tea drinks, but alas, I fell into the marketing trap. After I saw Torakris's post, I went looking everywhere for the Pepsi bottles with the magnets and finally found them after looking in several different stores. I got the same type as Torakris's blue one, but in red. Getting free little trinkets with your drinks is pretty fun!
  15. You could tell the location from the pictures? Wow, I'm impressed! Yes, you're right--just outside of Yotsuya station, to be exact. Actually, I had to check the internet to see if where I was is indeed called "Sotobori Koen"!! After yesterday's storm, I think that the sakura season in Tokyo is officially over. Please post pictures when sakura appear in your area!
  16. Okay, so I like to take pictures of sakura! Here are a couple of examples of how they are used to accent the food. How could you not want to take pictures! These were taken at a shabu shabu/sukiyaki restaurant (º£È¾¡Ëin the Times Square building. The flower was made out of hanpen and ground up imo. The fish on the elevated plate is sayuri, a fish that I have really been wanting to try. But I didn't really know the person who ordered this plate so I couldn't exactly ask for a bite!
  17. 'tis the season for beautiful cherry blossoms and for the sea of black suits that overcomes the streets! It's the time for all new grads to go job hunting and it seems to be a mortal sin to wear anything other than black. This past weekend, all of the new employees had their orientation and we were fortunate to be able to enjoy some sakura viewing during the lunch hour. There were some new men employees also, but they have cooties, so the women wouldn't sit with them. I can't imagine that it was comfortable to sit like that for so long, especially because the thin mat was all that separated their poor legs from very pokey gravel! More hanami photos. Some people get a little elaborate, for others, all you need is a friend, your dogs and a mini keg of Kirin! I think the little stroller is for the dogs Did you do any hanami this year? If so, what was in your obento?!?
  18. In addition to all of the sakura food products that are nice to enjoy this time of year, it's also great fun to see all of the decorations that restaurants come up with! Seen on the restaurant floor of Times Square in Shinjuku, which incidentally has just been redone and looks great. In a restaurant in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku (The Lost In Translation hotel). A great hotel to visit because it's beautiful and there are bars with great views. Just don't hope to hold on to much money... A soba shop in Kamagoe, a town famous for a garden that has one huge sakura. You can see a picture of it in the back.
  19. I think that "briny leaf" was the first Japanese food I ever tried that I wanted to spit out!!! The flavor was such a shock, I thought that something went horribly wrong during the construction of the little treat! That was a few years ago, but just as I developed a love for shiso, I thought that maybe I should try this again. I ate a sakura ohagi a few days ago with this exact leaf and I actually kind of liked it. I liked it enough that I just may try another sakura wagashi before the season is over. Those sakura mochi are beautiful, in an understated kind of way. I love how they look like hina-sama!
  20. Karukan manju, a meibutsu from Kagoshima, Kyushu. I loved these!! They're made out of yamaimo, roughly powdered non-glutinous rice, sugar and are filled with azuki. They aren't too sweet and are very light. I thought that they would be really chewy because the outside looks like mochigome that hasn't been pounded smooth, but now that I know that they're made out of non-glutinous rice, the light, non-chewy texture makes sense. Too bad the shelf life of these is fairly short or else I would have stocked up! Next time I see any department store with any kind of Kyushu Products Fair, I'll be on the lookout for these. This recipe uses only joshinko (rice flour), so I think that it won't be as granular looking. But maybe the flavor will be similar. Karukan manju recipe
  21. I had plans to go to Roppongi Hills, but when I got off at the subway station there were people holding signs directing people to Tokyo Midtown. I had heard about the opening, but didn't realize that it was in Roppongi. I took the very worthwhile detour and have some pictures to share. Unfortunately, they aren't really of food! From a distance, the huge skyscraper didn't appear all that inviting, but there is a really pretty park around the building (with the cherry blossoms) and the design of the "galleria," (where all of the shops and restauants are) is very modern and kind of serene feeling. They did a lot of interesting things with the lighting, the greenery and there are several really cool water displays. It seemed like things were really in full swing and that all of the restaurants were open, so I was surprised to see that Union Square Tokyo wasn't open for business. I guess that maybe they were planning on opening for dinner only. Flowers similar to those seen in front of the restaurant could be seen all throughout the building as they are congratulatory flowers, for the opening of a new business. Actually, the floor lighting and the bamboo trees just in front of Union Square Tokyo brought a lot of people with camera in tow, so I think that it will be a high traffic area. Apparently, the place to go was Toshi Yoroizuka, a pastry shop. Actually, almost every sit down restaurant had a long line, but what set these die hards apart was that these people had to wait outside and it was really, really windy and not exactly balmy! The vast majority of the sit down restaurants are fairly luxurious and those with the longest lines seemed to be the nicest places. It will be interesting to see if the Japanese public will appreciate the delicious food, yet unpretentious atmosphere that Union Square Tokyo has. (I've never been there) There's certainly a lot of competition! There's a very high end dog spa/salon/store where you can see the dogs getting their hair cut. It's kind of a spectacle, but the dogs sure are cute! I spent hours wandering from store to store and had a great time. Just a few comparisons to Roppongi Hills, just because they are so close to one another and are both new multi-use, modern spaces. The shopping in Roppongi Hills is spread out in different buildings, and if you're directionally challenged like me, you can get lost fairly easily. Some of the shops in Roppongi Hills are outside and some have entrances that are partly inside, partly outside, thanks to snazzy architecture. Aside from the outside gardens, most of the shopping and restaurants in Tokyo Midtown is contained in one building, which has some vague similarities to a mall because the shops are one right after the other, with escalators going from floor to floor. But it is far more interesting and much more beautiful than any mall I've been to! Both have residences and art museums, but I don't think that Tokyo Midtown has a movie theater. Roppongi Hills seems a little more futuristic with the big screen and giant spider sculpture. The emphasis at Tokyo Midtown is definitely clean lines, modern. Next time I go, I'll have to check out a restaurant!
  22. This dish is great!!! I had some hakusai that I have been needing to use up and I made this yesterday. It is so easy and so tasty. I made a lot of it and I couldn't stop munching on it. I'll never have hakusai go bad again! Thanks!
  23. I'm sorry, I'm not very familiar with the stores out in that area. However, it's not a rare product or anything so I imagine that many 100 yen shops would carry it, in any part of the country. Good luck!
  24. Since it has been so cold recently, I've been looking for warmer things to eat during lunch. In any conbini, the assortment of "just add hot water" types of soups is very impressive! It's not just cup o' noodle style soups, but also soba, udon, harusame, and even kanten noodles. All kinds of vegetable soups, chicken stews, and miso soups are also available. The sodium content in most of them is horrible, but you can manage to find some that actually aren't that bad for you. I was on a harusame noodle soup kick for a while, but today and yesterday I enjoyed the chicken cream stew. Soup along with an onigiri is a pretty decent quick lunch!
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