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Simple, cheap and healthy recipes from a Kiwi girl in a kitchen in southern Japan.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

bento 11/27

Another bento picture. Nothing too special but personally I LOVE sekihan - white rice with azuki beans (far right). The other two types of rice are: plain brown rice (middle) and brown rice with black sesame seeds and egg furikake with nori (seaweed) flakes.

The top layer has from Left: grilled Horse mackerel with daikon oroshi (grated radish), tamagoyaki (rolled omelette - with fish stock and sugar), cut cucumber and carrot, mini sausage and sauted shiitake mushrooms.

| The cook signed out at 9:24 AM | 1 comments


This was an incredibly cheap (150Y) but delicious snack. It's not in fact beef (looks like a steak right!) but TUNA! It's the area around the gills which is called kama in Japanese. We baked it in the oven, and then seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon. Sooo good!

| The cook signed out at 9:19 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The magical goodness of Garlic

It's already November, but I haven't yet started taking garlic daily to build up my immune system, like I did last year. Tsk tsk.
It really worked! I don't know why I don't just do it all year round! (could be that I get sick of carrying around mints with me all the time lol)

What I do is, chop up one or two cloves of garlic into tablet sized portions and take in warm water (with some disolved milk powder to help it go down a bit easier) every morning.
Sounds disgusting? Not the nicest of ways to start the day I admit but if you're like me and suffer from constant colds, fatigue and basically a poor immune system, I really recommend it.

Don't just take my word for it, google the health benefits of raw garlic!! Here is a site I googled with a basic list of health benefits and a few home remedies.

| The cook signed out at 6:03 PM | 0 comments

Friday, November 10, 2006

I haven't been posting much lately, but will do my best to keep this blog going! All recipes I post will be ones I have tried and liked. Of course, personal taste differs, but I'm sure you'll enjoy them too!

I am baking cookies for the RBC (regional building committee) on Monday. They are painting our Kingdom Hall. We all 'voted' on the colour, but I have forgotten to ask which colour 'won'. Let's hope it's not the green, which Ash voted for!!
I've been looking through recipezaar for cookie recipes and nearly all them use baking soda. The ones that don't use cake mixes or other ingredients I don't have. So, what's the problem with baking soda you ask? Well, I just can't find it around here. I don't know if it's because of the rural area I live in or if it's generally not used in Japanese baking....?

I'm wondering if I'll have to bite the bullet and order from FBC.

I rarely order things online. I try to make do with what I can get locally. Mainly because I am lazy and I don't like to pay the inflated prices! Next time I go home I am *definately* skipping the souvenirs this time and buying things for ME. Time to stock up!!

I'm also looking for some recipes to use for next weekend. But this time I am looking through Japanese recipe sites because the inlaws are coming (flash of lightning, crack of thunder....lol)
This is a last minute trip so I have no idea what's planned. I guess we'll eat out at night, or Ash will cook. He likes to cook for guests and he's welcome to!! I'm looking up nice things to make for breakfast. I don't think toast and coffee will go down well!! I'll do my best to make delicious Japanese-style breakfasts.
My inlaws are actually nice people, I just don't know them very well since they live so far away and we're lucky if we see them once a year. So having them stay is a bit nerve wracking. It'll be fine though, I'm just a worry wart!

Ok enough rambling. Here is today's recipe:

Easy mini cupcakes

They are SOOOO easy. I had literally nothing (ok, very little) in my cupboards, but I was home sick and craving something sweet. As always, recipezaar saved me! Ash also loves these. I made another batch this week and they were gone is two days!

Easy mini cupcakes - www.recipezaar.com/89751

| The cook signed out at 11:05 AM | 9 comments

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Definately can recommend these recipes - YUM!

Sauce - http://www.recipezaar.com/90414

Meatballs - http://www.recipezaar.com/92095

| The cook signed out at 6:05 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


These (Sazae / Turban shells) became a snack for Ash a couple of days ago. Still alive, of course, so I tried not to bond with them before their death on the grill. I'm such a softie. Since I was snacking on grilled chicken wings at the time Ash called me a hypocrite lol It's easy to forget that the steak you're digging into, or the chicken wing you're nibbling on was once a cute little creature..

| The cook signed out at 3:38 PM | 1 comments

Monday, October 09, 2006

Most mornings I get up around 6:15 to make breakfast and lunch for Ash. On days that I'm not feeling well I just keep sleeping and Ash picks up something while he is out and about (he's an electrician). He doesn't mind and I appreciate the break!! I make his lunches out of love not because I think it's something I have to do as a wife. But of course it's nice to do what we can to support one another. He does a lot for me - helps around the house, cooks on weekends and brings me meals in bed when I'm sick. He's a real sweetie!
Anyway, here is a pic of what his lunch box looks like. Yum!

| The cook signed out at 8:44 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I was tagged! Thanks Eva ( The Golden Shrimp)

I am thinking about:
whether or not to finish the packet of Bitter chocolate Kitkat tonight or be good and wait till tomorrow......

I said: Itadakimasu! (bon appetite!)

I want to: get over this cold so I can go out and enjoy this beautiful autumn weather tomorrow.

I wish: I had more motivation to study

I regret: not spending enough time studying.

I hear: the background noise of the TV. No one is actually watching it so I should turn it off...

I am: enjoying a leisurely evening, being spoilt by my lovely husband =)

I dance: the only bit of line dancing I remember whenever I hear Ash's dreaded country music...

I sing: badly while listening to my beloved cellphone-walkman.

I cry: at the end of the last episode of Hakushon Daimao.

I am not: looking forward to winter! (dreading it more likely!)

I am: going to focus on our trip to Okinawa in December to help me get through the beginning of winter!

I write: unimaginatively and irregularly.

I confuse: the words 'season' and 'scenery' in Japanese occasionally. too basic, but it's stuck!!

I need: to take a long hot bath and then go to bed.

I tag: Gina (Life of an American Mommy living in Japan)

Oyasumi! (Goodnight!)

| The cook signed out at 7:41 PM | 1 comments

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

You Are a Learning Cook

You've got the makings of an excellent cook, and the desire to be one.
But right now, you're just lacking the experience. You couldn't be a top chef yet, but you could be an apprentice.
Are You A Good Cook?

| The cook signed out at 1:35 PM | 0 comments

Monday, September 18, 2006

Strengthening the immune system

Prevention is better than cure

My immune system has always been on the weak side. I absolutely dread winter. I probably get the same number of colds as the average person but one thing I get which is decidedly odd for a 24 year old is aching joints and rheumatism! It really slows me down.
The last six years I have suffered from on going fatigue which was no fun for someone in their early 20's but thankfully since last autumn I have started improving which has made me *so* happy.
Last winter I came across the recipe to an immune strengthening drink which I drank faithfully every day for most of winter. I also took 1-2 cloves of garlic chopped and swallowed like pills every morning. (needless to say I discovered the need to carry mints around with me!)
I only got one cold (before I started the drink) and I was able to fly back home alone - a 22 hour trip one way- and enjoy a 2 and a half week holiday without getting overly fatigued at all! whoopee!

Even though autumn has only just begun I might start taking this drink and the garlic again.... prevention is better than cure, right?

Cold and Flu Prevention

30 cloves of garlic (peeled) and roughly chopped (chopping, mincing is important. It has limited health benefits eaten whole)

5 whole lemons (cut into big chunks with rind)

1 small piece of fresh ginger (add more if you like it spicy!)

Cover with 1 lt of water and bring to the boil. As soon as it bubbles,
turn off the heat and let it cool down without removing the lid.
Strain through a sieve into a bottle and keep in the fridge

Since I have a small fridge and don't have room for a large container I usually make small batches every 2 days. The above is only a guide. Adjust to taste!

| The cook signed out at 8:03 AM | 0 comments