Saturday, March 3, 2018




It’s almost a year since I had this imported dark chocolate Easter bunny sitting in my pantry all cracked up.  What to do!

For the next few days, I would take a big chunk of this almost year old Easter Bunny Chocolate and defrost it in my microwave until it looks like a puddle of thick shiny dipping chocolate.  I toasted a slice of filone bread from #Sullivanbread - my favorite bread source, crisp and dark outside and loosely aired textured firm white bread in the inside. 

I use the defrost cycle for about a minute to melt the chocolate soft enough to become my chocolate dip.

Next best thing to having churros.

Sullivan Bread

Saturday, February 24, 2018


A good quality smoked salmon is key to my favorite breakfast.  Not all smoked salmon is created equal.

There are many ways I prepare my smoke salmon breakfast.  But my favorite way is what I learned when I visited Norway.

“” I like it open face style sandwich.  In fact I find it lucky that I found a place to get the authentic Norwegian mayonnaise (am running out of it) from the Norwegian Holiday Bazaar that was held near me.

It’s simple to make:

Slice of bread


Slices of 1 hard boiled egg

Smoked salmon

Sprigs of dill

Layer the ingredients on top of the bread and sprinkle the top with dill sprigs.

Simple healthy breakfast!

#breakfast #norwegian #openface

Friday, February 23, 2018


I’m having broiled hamachi collar tonight.  I would like to have a quick vegetable as accompaniment.

Have you had bitter melon?  I decided to make a salad with it instead of cooking it.

I simply washed the bitter melon, sliced it vertically and removed the core and seeds inside.  Then I sliced it in thin slices.

In a bowl, I poured about 1/3 cup of Seasoned Japanese rice vinegar in a bowl.  I added the rest of the ingredients.  Tossed them together and set it aside while I broiled my hamachi collar.


1 bitter melon

1/3 cup seasoned Japanese rice vinegar

1-2 TB of minced cilantro

1 stalk of scallions chopped

Salt for seasoning 

Optional: 1-2 Thai chillies minced.

This makes a good salad to eat with grilled or broiled fish.

#vegetable #bittermelon #salad

Thursday, February 22, 2018


I purposely arrived on New Year’s Eve to celebrate with my son and his family. 
We had a traditional dinner called Osechi Ryori.  It is an important dinner of the year comprised of traditional and modern dishes served in boxes.  From Sushi to individually cooked fish and soup.
We sat around as a family and feasted with all the traditional dishes.
#Japan #Osechi #osechiriyori #NewYearEve #delicious #feast #nagano

As you can see, it was a feast!  After we finished, we went early to visit a Temple as this is what is done traditionally.

On the way to the temple is an array of food stands.  We were a little early so the food stands were just preparing the food.
Above is the temple which was still closed.  But  one is supposed to say some prayer, clap hands and drop some Offering.
Because we were early, they just showed me around and the kids played some game on one of the booths on the side.
The food was delicious.  Even though we just had a feast we tried a few things.
They also sold Daruma dolls here to replace the ones they had from the ending year.  The Daruma dolls are made of paper mache without the eyes.  One is supposed to get one (it comes in different sizes) and you wish for something you importantly want to obtain.  For instance to get admitted to a University of your wish.  You make 2 important wishes or goals for the year.  Each goal is designated to each eye.  When your goal is fulfilled, you can now mark the blank eye with black marker to create an eye.  If both wishes are fulfilled within the year, you now have a completed doll.  If none, then there are no eyes till the end of the year.  If only 1 wish got fulfilled, you color only 1 eye.
Towards the end of the week, the Daruma dolls are collected and sewn into a garland.  They pile branches and reeds to hang the garland around .  They then light this pile of branches to make a fire in a large open area.  Locals who have given up their old Daruma dolls with or without filled in eyes attend.
This is a big event.  There is food served tonthe attendees.  I also learned they can cook some starchy food in a foil supposed to be good for you.  It was tasty.

This was a wonderful experience I will never forget.  Truly grateful to have been part of this event.
#event #newyear #tradition #travel