Posts tagged Japanese snacks

Yarn Therapy

After a difficult week, I couldn’t bring myself to update last weekend, so I have lots to share with you today. This past week was much better- better patience, better focus, better breathing.

Yesterday was my last knitting class and I’ve become completely obsessed.  All other crafts have been put on hiatus while I’m working on a myriad of knitting projects. I finished my sampler scarf. It turned out beautiful and so soft once I washed it (Reality yarns).  Last week in class we started hats.  I finished mine yesterday. It’s a self-patterning yarn.  I chose the colors because they look cozy and wintry (I’m longing for fall in the 95 degree heat).

My knitting WIPs are the windy city scarf, which I’m making some progress on.  I’ve switched the new color, and have about 90 rows to go.  I began a new hat with beautiful Tonalita sunrise yarn.  This beanie will be ribbed all the way up. And yesterday in class we began a shawl.  It starts at the point and increases each row.  I’m not very far into it, but it goes pretty quickly. It’s a deep gray color from Comfort yarns.

My next two projects are a skinny scarf (white with silver sparkles), and leg warmers (pink, green, gray). I’ve also been working on two crochet projects, but not as often as I’d like. Crochet goes much fast than knitting so I’ve got to get working on those projects, they should be done soon.  You’ll see them after the holidays.

I’m about 3/4 of the way done listening to the Hound of the Baskervilles on librivox. I think I’ll listen to Little Women next. I finished Native Son and Devil Bones.  Now I’m reading Missing Mom by Joyce Carol Oates.  Its not great, but it’s an easy read.  It’s about a woman in her thirties, named Nikki, whose mother was murdered.  Nikki fancies herself a rebel with a short, punky hair cut.  It’s actually pretty obnoxious how often the author mentions the short, spiky, purple hair.  Anyway, the mother was a wonderful, giving, loving woman who was always helping people in the community and ends up being killed by someone she offered a ride to.  It seems that story is going in the direction of explaining how Nikki thought her mother was foolish and naive and through the grieving process learns that she wants to live like her mother (but I could be wrong). I’m about half done. I’ll probably finish it, though I don’t love it, just because when I commit to a book, I like to follow through.

I also began reading the Tao of teaching.  It takes Taoist principles and shows how they are applied by teachers.  It’s really inspiring and helps remind me of what kind of teacher I want to be.

I haven’t been to my book club in months, but now that I feel like I’m getting more comfortable with this year’s routine I’m planning on going to the November meeting.  I don’t know what the book is yet, but I’ll probably try to get back into it regardless of the book. 

I’ll leave you with my favorite new Japanese snack:

They’re little cookies with a chocolate “burger” and vanilla fudge “cheese” feeling The cookies are even coated in teeny sesame seeds.  So cute!


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It’s Elementary

With the weather in LA on the chilly side (by that, I mean in the 70s), my crafting and cooking yearnings are at an all time high. I’ve also started getting into football in preparation for our impending move to a place where football rocks. If you had told me even a few years ago that I would be spending my fall weekends knitting, crocheting, embroidering, and cross stitching while watching football I would have laughed in your face.  And now I think back and wonder what I was doing over the weekends.  My first three years of teaching I taught Saturday school for the extra money. Sundays I must have just watched movies, read, and done my work for my Master’s program. These last two years I’m not sure what I did.  I’m guessing reading and movie watching are about right.

So this week my beloved made dinner every night. As much as I love cooking and baking, I will NEVER complain about coming home to a cooked meal! So last night I made a version of the Quick Pierogi Bake from Vegetarian Times. I changed it up and it ended up as sauteed onions and veggie sausage over potato and cheese pierogis, covered in soy bacon and cheese.  I know I know.. how many breakfast (fake) meats can one meal include? I had mine with pureed squash.  It turned out really delicious, though the house still smells like onion and bacon. Here’s a picture. Why is it that the ugliest looking foods are the most scrumptious?

This week for lunches I made tofu, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese sandwiches, veggie crackers, mini pickles (they’re so sweet, like a dessert!) and sweet green grapes. Mmmmm.

One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday is wander around the Japanese market and find fun new Japanese snacks.  Last week is was Crunky brand candy.  I found a Crunky bar and Crunky Balls.  Really, life is good.









I worked on my cross-stitch project a little this week, but didn’t make too much progress.  It’s slow going. I know I need to set a little time aside for it each day, and that I’ll see progress soon, but I’m so caught up with my yarn crafts, especially those projects that are for others (those that you won’t get to see for a few months because some of those others read this blog), that I keep choosing knitting and crochet over cross-stitch. On Thursday I went craft book shopping and picked up a bunch of knitting and crocheting books.  As you know from previous entries, I love the Stitch and Bitch Happy Hooker book.  So my first purchase when I learned to knit was the original Stitch and Bitch book.  I started the Windy City Scarf yesterday.  

The scarf has a little keyhole in it to wrap the other end through so it doesn’t blow away in the windy Chicago weather.  To see a finished example here’s one on a blog I like.

One thing I’ve discovered this week that doubles my crafting pleasure is Librivox.  It’s an archive of audio books of public domain material.  I’m able to catch up on my classic literature while I’m knitting. Some of the readers are awful and some are great, so it’s hit or miss.  I’m currently listening to the Hounds of Baskerville by Sir Author Conan Doyle.  I’ve actually never read any Sherlock Holmes mysteries, so I’m thrilled to be able to listen to them while I’m working on other things! I highly recommend checking this site out.  You can get the files as mp3s or it links you to subscribe in iTunes to a chapter a day.  If you’re interested, you can also volunteer to be a reader.

Oh, and go Dodgers!

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Sushi Pack

I think I’ll start with crafts.

I’ve made a commitment to finish 5 rows each day on my blue blanket.  This lasted for one day. Then I didn’t do it yesterday, so I may have to do 10 rows today to keep up.  We’ll see!

I started the Galaxy top that I’ve been so excited about.  And when I say I started it, I mean I crocheted 5 of the 60 or so pieces needed.  Here are those pieces with the shirt.  I think you’ll be seeing a lot of the progress of this shirt.

I also decorated another planner.  This one I found at Target for a dollar.  They had a whole bin of teacher planners and record books, with the wrong covers.  The lesson plan book had a cover that said “Record Keeper” so they were all only a dollar.  I knew I’d be using my Cricut to rescue THAT.

The different papers are all glittery and foil embossed.  They were part of the big trip to Joann’s a few weeks ago.

In book news, I finished Malinche and Taxonomy of Barnacles, which I realized I never summarized. It’s broken into two parts- nature and nurture.  It follows a family of 6 daughters, all with B-names, as they attempt to win their father’s money by making a lasting name for their family. Hilarity ensues.  It wasn’t great. but it was okay. Malinche was also okay.  Esquivel’s beautiful writing definitely saved the plot.

I began Julie and Julia and love it so far.  I think she’s brilliantly funny and real.  So much of what she writes are one liners that have run through my own head.  I love the side story about the Joy of Sex and that it all started as a blog.

Middlesex is waiting patiently on the end table.  I feel like that might be a book I have to give my full attention, so I’m planning to finish Julie and Julia today and move on to Middlesex tomorrow. I know I’m reading all these books that were hyped so long ago, but who can keep up?

My husband helped with dinner last night.  He’s quite the sushi roller.  When we lived in Arizona, our neighbor was married to a Japanese woman, who would invite us for dinner and teach us how to cook Japanese food.  From her we learned about rice vinegar, Japanese curry, and the love of mayonnaise and sweet red bean desserts. At the farmer’s market and Japanese market I picked up shiitakes, cucumbers, avocados, and nori. I had mine with a soy ginger sauce from Whole Foods and a little wasabi.  Chris is a purist and goes straight soy sauce and lots of wasabi. We paired it with my favorite wine, guwertzraminer.  This one I picked up at Firestone in Los Olivos. Oh! The chopsticks are very special. Chris’s sister was in the military and was stationed in Okinawa.  Chris wanted real chopsticks with an interesting design.  So she sent us lovely enamel chopsticks with naked women. It’s a treat to eat sushi at our house!

All that yumminess got me craving inari, so made myself a nice little Japanese lunch today to follow up. Soba and brown rice inari, miso soup, and dried okra…that’s right dried okra.  Remember my dried mushrooms?  Same thing- dehydrated okra with seasoning. So weird and so delicious.

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Rock Out With Your Cork Out

I thought that might get your attention!

Yesterday was such a great day. The flour-less chocolate cake was how Candy, Maggie, Cliff, and I ended our wine tasting afternoon at Bottle Rock in Culver City.  We also had this amazing cheese plate:

I can’t remember what it was called, but there was a cheese in the middle that was drizzled with warm honey.  It was like heaven.  The wine tasting was USA wines (actually all California wines) Vs French wines.  There was a rose (France won that for me), a white (Sauvignon Blanc, I think- which the austere French also won for me, though everyone else liked the slutty US wine), and a Burgandy (this time the US for me, the French was too bold). Bottle Rock does tastings every Saturday from 1-4.  I’m planning on taking my mom next week in anticipation for our Santa Barbara wine country trip next Monday.  Chris also heard the stories of cheese and cake and decided to take Saturday off to come with us. Here’s Candy taking good care of her teeth by sipping the reds through a straw!

Before Maggie left us to go back to law school we got a picture in front of the Culver City Farmer’s Market mural. Here is me with my lady loves:

When I got home I finished one side of the embroidery project I started Saturday.  When I went to Joann’s I picked up a pillow case embroidery project.  It’s my first attempt at embroidery, but it looks really pretty so far (the wrong side, is a whole other story, that’s what I’m working on for the other half of the pillow- tying off the string rather than carrying it so far).

Then I made Chris some dinner, I was still full from cheese and cake, but I had some a little later.  I just sauteed all the vegetables in the fridge from the last week- tomato, mushrooms, onions, green onions, pepper, with two Tofurkey Kielbasa and put it over multigrain noodles and topped with feta. It tasted fresh and delicious.

I also made this crochet star.  I have no idea what to do with it. Any suggestions? I was thinking of using it as applique on a tote bag.  What do you think I should do with it?

This morning I went to the Japanese market and picked up some snacks and goodies for the week.  I have a weakness for Asian snacks, and especially Japanese desserts that involve red bean paste.  I make a pretty mean ohagi if I do say so myself. So here’s the loot:

The top row is: dried shiitake snacks, nescafe Ice Cool coffee drink packets, cookies with red bean paste (not very good) and miso soup mix (the only one I can find with no fish powder). Middle row: Ham and Cheese flavored chips for the hubby, pea pod snacks for me, nori maki arare crackers, and chewy candy ( I can’t figure out the flavor). Bottom row- peanut butter mochi (drool!), assorted mochigashi (all red bean filling), and chocolate strawberry candy bar.

I’m off to the beach in a few hours, so I’m trying not to snack on all the salty treats, because no one wants to be bloated in a bikini!

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