Frûche

Frûche is a soft and creamy traditional European style fromage frais that is really much less viscous than fromage frais which has the consistency of cream cheese. As one would surmise from the name, it does have real bits of fruits mixed in with the cream, reminding you of flavored yogurt that’s popular nowadays.

This dessert is much loved in that a ready-to-make one is available in any supermarket, convenience store (konbini) and even in some 100 yen stores. And it comes with many other flavors besides.

This 150g needs only to be mixed with 150ml of milk and with a few stirs, you already have your frûche that’s good for 2~3 persons.

When I showed husband I bought frûche for dessert, his eyes grew big and exclaimed how he loved it when he was a kid. He then went on sharing his childhood stories with frûche. Listening to him, I was thankful for giving in to my whim to buy this pack even when I initially had no idea what it was nor how to prepare it. Love.

chahan champloo

Atsushi suddenly had the inspiration to cook chahan (fried rice) for us. He claimed it will be the best chahan in the world. True enough, it rivaled with my favorite chahan in Osho, a famous Chinese restaurant near Sakuragicho Station.

First attempt. Atsushi called it the “Rice of Chaos” because even he himself couldn’t understand its appearance. It may not look much but it sure is really good.

Yes, it-is-sticky. He added mochi kibi (glutinous rice additive) while boiling the rice hence when it cooked it was pretty sticky. We use brown rice at home by the way as (Atsushi says) it is healthier it being unrefined – philosophy is same as brown sugar being healthier than white, refined sugar.

First attempt was for dinner last night. Atsushi made his second attempt for lunch.

Love the taste. If I weren’t worried about my stomach getting bigger by the day (and no i’m not yet pregnant), I would have requested A to make another batch.

What made his fried rice better than the ones I did (and a rival or even better than Osho’s) is that he added this special soy sauce enriched with kombu (sea tangle) dashi which brought out the umami taste – salty and a teeny-weeny  bit sweet and sour. Truly delicious.

More chahan please!

breakfast

I just love breakfast. It’s the best meal of the day for me. One probable reason why I love it is because of its novelty, ergo rarity of having it; especially ever since I lived apart from my parents.

Back at the time when I was just daydreaming for my perfect man, I dreamed of him cooking breakfast for the two of us. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just a few bacon and sausages and sunny side up would be splendid for me already.

And today, I woke up to having that dream come true. I woke up to the smell of my favorite sausages and bacon; woke up to the sound of them hissing on the pan. We ran out of eggs already though but it’s ok. It was still a dream come true.

It felt all the more better because I didn’t ask him to. He did it out of his own volition.

Thanks A for making my wishes come true.

manzanitas or grapes?

Got curious with how it’d taste compared with normal-sized ones hence I finally bought these mini grapes for our dessert. Look how tiny they are!

One thing with the taste though. They were good. But. They tasted similar to manzanitas sans the minuscule seeds. Given that, I don’t think I’d buy this again. I’d rather buy manzanitas (or pick some from our neighborhood in Philippines at that!) as that will be much cheaper. They have similar taste anyway. 😀

fusion

Japanese and Filipino food fusion also comes great.

Bicol Express. The coconut milk I bought though is not so creamy.

Shredded nori. Bought it at an unusual price at 102 yen. Unusual because normally, pricing is at 5yens so it should have been 105yen.

Bicol Express peppered with nori. It may not look much, but it definitely tasted great.

Pardon for the blurriness of the pictures.

 

on towel holders, formalities and melons

On paper towel holders. Scoured the whole of Gumyoji, Bandobashi and Kannai for 100 yen shops but I still haven’t found the paper towel wooden holder I had in mind. Similar to this one, yes.

I bought one during my Japan stint last 2007 in a 100-yen shop but I just couldn’t find a wooden one now (they have the metal and plastic ones). I can buy in upscale malls but somehow I can’t accept that I am buying something that costs more when I can buy the same kind in a 100-yen shop (not all 100yen goodies are of good quality though). The one above sells at £3.49. So, the search continues…

On formalities. Now, whenever an acquaintance, say an office acquaintance you have only just met recently would ask you “how are you?” I think one would instantly reply, “i’m good” or “i’m ok” without really thinking about your current emotional or physical state. For some, the how-are-you question is more like the small talk that’s prelude to more small talk. You don’t really think about what you answer. Anyways, when you’re asked the how-are-you question, etiquette would make you ask the same question back. And if ever you encounter a person who deeply thinks about his/her answer to your how-are-you question and who may answer more than “i’m good” or “i’m ok”, do listen closely. True people like them are hard to find.

On latest craze. It’s the melon season. You can buy a perfectly-ripened-can-eat-immediately whole melon at 200yen. I was afraid to buy at first because I don’t know how to judge if it’s ripe already or not. I took the plunge. And it was worth it. Perfect for our 1st month celeb.

down the chute

I think a lot of people would agree with me when I say that when it comes to packaging, food presentation, food decoration et al, the Japanese is the leader of the pack. The amount of detail they exert on every packaging is nothing short of amazing. Me and my friends usually say sometimes (when for the nth time we were amazed with the packaging), “the Japanese really think of everything!”. And even for simple household stuff, the packaging can be quite a pleasant surprise sometimes.

Take for one the common salt. I still wasn’t able to buy us a cute (yes, it has to be cute) containers for the kitchen and yet I have to buy salt already. No worries, the salt already comes in a good packaging, that’s good enough for display.

Pull the tab. It says “akekuchi” meaning, opening point.

Pry open using a fingernail.

And voila! Salt can now go out the chute. So handy.

Dandy.

stress buster: experimenting in the kitchen!

Stressed and frazzled over things you really can’t do anything about but to wait and hope (oh please Fr. Dong)?

I vent it out on cooking and experimenting on food. Lately, i’ve been experimenting on some side dishes. Really, it helps.

Tomato tuna sandwich. It’s best with a vinaigratte.

I just can’t get enough of yellow bell pepper. Toss in tomato and brocolli. The bunch is best with roasted sesame dressing.

This afternoon, I had to buy a new pack of the Vit. E globules since we ran out of stock already. Goodness, 50 globules costs 1380yen!!! I just had to buy though, Hubby’s request. These globules better have some effect on my skin considering how expensive they are.

modified paksiw

I wanted to cook Tuna Paksiw (Paksiw –  a traditional Filipino vinegar-based food), Papa’s way. But I wasn’t able to go to Asian Store hence I don’t have any Filipino vinegar at hand. What I have is Hubby’s apple vinegar.

Realizing I need to ask Papa how a real paksiw should be cooked, I ventured on concocting a revised paksiw menu. I didn’t have the confidence to experiment on the traditional paksiw, this time.

I had two slabs of tuna (forgot to take a picture).

Mushroom, sold at 98 yen in Yokohamaya, somewhere in between Maita and Gumyoji. To be cut in halves.

Medium-sized yellow bell pepper. I SO love yellow bell peppers. I can eat them as is.

Cherry-tomatoes, to be cut in halves.

Tsada! Care to suggest a name for this?

yes i know, i need a NEW pan

It was good, especially since the bell peppers and cherry tomatoes weren’t overcooked. Lessons learned though:

  • need to simmer it a bit longer so the sauce could sip into the tuna and mushroom a bit more
  • measure the amount of vinegar – i always cook by feel, no measuring. So i have to learn to measure
  • don’t use apple vinegar if you don’t want a fruity sour taste

energy!

I am most happy with our kitchen. Right now, I have nothing to ask for that’s kitchen-related (well, except for new pots and pans 😀 ). It’s a happy place for me. Especially since we also eat in the kitchen haha. Dining table will only be delivered this weekend hence, we’ve been eating in the kitchen. It’s fine though. We already have lots of kitchen memories. 😀

As for the dishes I cook, well, mostly, they’re experiments. I think i’m on Marj Special # 9 or so already. Maybe I should start taking notes about them. At one point last week, when Hubbie peeped in the boiling pot, he asked me if our dish for the night was Chinese. I laughed and said I actually don’t know what nationality it is. Nor any of the dishes i’ve cooked. They certainly aren’t Filipino since I’ve been using some ingredients that aren’t Filipino. Thankfully though, Hubbie likes ’em all and eats ’em all, even when I estimated we’d have plenty of leftovers.

Will share some pictures next time. For now though, here’s some healthy goodness to share. A medium-sized carrot and a big apple when pulped can produce about 300ml drink. Add in 5ml honey (yes, see the path the honey made? took this before we did some stirring) and you’d have a healthy and delicious drink to cap your meal. Laughed when Hubbie exclaimed “energy!” after drinking his share (it’s a pun for the FM radio station in the Philippines).

By the side of the (energy) drink is an asparagus-tuna omelette. Yum! 🙂

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had another earthquake just now…. 😦

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