It’s A Small World. Gone are the days of the static-filled conversation over the phone. Friends, family in remote reaches of the world now connect clearly with Skype and FaceTime. It’s a Small World that provides great opportunity to expand perspectives. I’m on Skype at least twice a week peeking into the homes of my friends in Japan. While collecting recipes for scones and other scrumptious items on the Internet, I peek into the kitchens of bakers all over the planet. Including one of the grande dames of the Australian blogosphere, Maureen of OrgasmicChef. Reading her blog, I get glimpses of life in Australia and glimpse the grand heart of Maureen…who kindly expressed interest in seeing what’s #InMyKitchen. Want to take a peek, too?
The gluten-free goodies in this post were generously provided by Glutino.
“Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims
Ancient Japanese poetry master, Issa thought matcha was so important that he wrote several haiku about green tea. Here’s a favorite:
The tea smoke
and the willow
Teas, whether Japanese matcha or English breakfast, evoke an air of sophisticated simplicity. Tea seems to create space. A cuppa, as the English say, promotes permission...
Pretty party fare in a pinch:
All it takes is a bag of Glutino gluten-free chocolate cake mix and a box of Glutino Vanilla Crème Cookies.
It’s almost hilarious isn’t it? Technology was/is supposed to be a time-saver. I thought mobile telephones, text messages were designed to provide freedom; and assist in the pursuit of happiness. Instead of more time with friends, family and fill in the blank hobby – mine is dancing – it seems I’m spending more time online. It’s hard to put down that mighty phone. Don’t get me wrong; thanks to the online community I’ve met some truly stellar and inspiring fellow humans. Maybe I’m the only one who has yet to figure out the work/life/fun balance thing. Please do share your secrets to harmonious living in the comments section.
Put your sunglasses on! Erin McKenna’s Bakery in LA, NYC and Disney World is a great place for serious stargazing. The bakery’s roster of celebrity fans include Oscar winner Natalie Portman and FOX TV’s New Girl Zoe Deschanel. The pull to the popular sweets shop is three-fold. Executive Baker and Owner of Erin McKenna’s Bakery channels her flair for fashion and passion for tasty Non-GMO, vegan treats into her namesake stores. Every item in Erin McKenna’s Bakery is made with organic products. Each dessert is beautiful to behold. And exquisitely palate-pleasing!
Spring winds birth sakura cherry blossoms. In Japan, sakura petals carpet parks. Lanterns sway gently from the branches of cherry blossom trees. Picnickers clink sake glasses as the sun sets on this pink fairyland.
Even with the California water shortage, gardens burst with color and fragrance. The smiling flowers fill me with gratitude. Sometimes it’s the simple things. Like sunshine on the face after bursts of cold is sublime. Or a whiff of jasmine as I scurry to an appointment. My spirits lift in springtime. A whisper of hope touches my shoulder.
Yes, each season brims with beauty. Since spring is present, I’ll celebrate the gift…#InMyKitchen! In any month, I lift my glass to Maureen of OrgasmicChef.com. She’s a queen of cuisine; the hostess of #InMyKitchen; and a woman whose wisdom and strength are #inspirational!
Chirashi sushi is a super easy to make Japanese meal. It’s also the solution to little time and lots of people to feed. Like a My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 potluck party. Nichole Crews of Casa de Crews has arranged such a Sunday Supper feast. Scroll down and get inspired to celebrate the opening weekend of the Greek wedding extravaganza movie. Or at least grab some Greek-inspired scrumptious suppers and sweets.
Greek chirashi sushi - my contribution to today’s Sunday Supper – is a combination of Japanese chirashi sushi and Greek salad. Traditional chirashi sushi is a sprinkling (literally scattering) of fish and Japanese egg crepe over vinegar sushi rice. (The egg crepe can be made in minutes. Click here for the recipe.) When at a sushi restaurant and you can’t make up your mind, chirashi is a great choice. You get a sample of a variety of fish. Plus the artistic arrangement of the sushi and egg are always lovely to look at.
The political skirmishes on the world stage and/or in the office can be ugly. My escape is to make pretty. In the kitchen, I whip up comfort foods like kinshi tamago – Japanese egg crepes. I also go bike riding on Santa Monica beach. And thank God I’m a docent at the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens. What’s your RX for finding beauty?
In Japan, artistic presentation is key: The plating of food, the packaging of products, the sculpting of flowers. Japanese bentos are another example of Japan’s penchant for pretty meals. (Just take a look at Pinterest!)
Japanese egg crepes (kinshi tamago) are often sliced super thin and sprinkled over rice in bento boxes. One of the great pleasures of travel in Japan is picking up a bento at train stations. The ekiben - station bento boxes - reflect the specialties of the region. Shimizu Station is famous for it’s sakura (cherry blossom) shrimp, which are complimented by kinshi tamago, tofu, peas, and lotus roots.
Japan is famous for amazing Kobe wagyu beef. Exceptional taste (thanks to the marbled fat) and exceptional cost (thanks to the methods - such as massage - used to raise the cows.) Beef certainly was not taken for granted at our dining room table in Tokyo.
Tofu was always in our refrigerator. Not the kind of packaged tofu in an American supermarket. Sure, the contents looked similar, but in Tokyo (circa 1960s, 1970s) fresh tofu was purchased from the tofu store. No kidding. Right next to the vegetable grocer, stood a tiny store selling tofu. Tiny is an apt adjective. The tofu store was smaller than a hallway in an American office building. White blocks of tofu swam in wooden vats. My nanny would point to the tofu she wanted. The tofu seller would scoop up the bean curd and place it in a plastic bag. Not an easy feat as anyone knows who has handled tofu. Tofu crumbles very easily…The very reason I chose firm tofu to make tofu nuggets for Sunday Supper.