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Showing posts from July, 2010

Japanese Bunka

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Bunka means culture in Japanese. And oh boy, they had butt-loads of bunka! When I think of Japanese culture, the first thing I think about is shrines and temples! The shrines and temples of Japan burst with history and nostalgia so we made our way to a popular shrine up near Harajuku - a 10 minute bus ride to Shibuya then a quick subway ride to Harajuku. The only reason I knew about Harajuku is because of that Gwen Stefani song, "Harajuku girls". The moment we got off the subway, I knew why Gwen wanted to sing a song about this place. The most popular shopping area is on Takeshita dori, which is the first thing you see when you leave Harajuku Station. There's a narrow little road that is bustling with people, vibrant colors, and LOTS of young people. It looks like the highschooler hang out. Steve and I didn't spend much time here other than walking down the little street. It was about a five minute walk to the shrine although it took us about half an hour to get our

Just soaking up the rays, dude!

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Saw this guy downtown SLO on my lunch break. He was just lounging in a chair at Mondeos without a shirt and his hair blowing in the breeze. Quite a site for boring old SLO. Then his girlfriend arrived and oh my, they have the same hair dresser!

A perk of being Kellie's daughter

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Wine Club Members BBQ (thanks Mom!) at Edna Valley Winery. Good food, good wine, and one of my favorite places to be with my HUSBAND. :)

Tri-Tip Marinade

1 cup lemon juice 1 cup olive oil 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion 1 tbls garlic salt 1 tbls black pepper Marinade a minimum of 6 hours in refrigerator (the longer the better) Makes enough marinade for two 4-pound tri-tip roasts

Jaime's Taco Seasoning

Forget to pick up a packet of Lawry's taco seasoning for tonight's meal? Don't fear, just combine these simple ingredients and you will have taco seasoning that's even better than Lawry's. 1 tbls chili powder 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 1/4 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp paprika 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp sea salt 1 tsp black pepper Combine in a bowl and add desired amount to your chicken or beef! Tip: Make extra and save for next time!

Susanne's Aioli

In the bottom of a beaker, crack a large egg and let it come to room temperature while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. Prepare: Mix together 2/3 cup canola oil and 1/3 cup olive oil juice one lemon 2/3 cup fresh italian parsley 4 cloves of garlic (or to taste) sea salt and white pepper to taste Put 2 tablespoons of oil in with the egg. Start blending with a Cuisinart hand blender. Slowly add some more oil, allowing it to emulsify before adding more. Keep drizzling in the oil. As the aioli thickens, add the oil more quickly. Stop halfway through and add the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Continue blending until all the oil is incorporated and the aioli is thick. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Spoon into a pretty serving bowl, cover and chill for at least a half hour before serving so the flavors can marry. Serves 6 Recipe compliments of Susanne Woolley

Peach Toffee Crisp

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5 medium peaches peeled and sliced or 5 cups frozen (thawed) sliced peaches 2/3 cup quick cooking oats 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup original bisquick 1/4 cup english toffee bits 1/4 cup firm margarine or butter 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Heat oven to 375. Spread peaches in ungreased square pan 8 x 8 x 2 inches. Mix remaining ingredients until crumbly, sprinkle over peaches. Bake 35-40 minutes or until peaches are tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm.

Japanese New Half Show

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Our colleague from Japan invited us to a Japanese show after our Tempura meal. He said it was a "fashion and dance" show where "New Halfs" perform. We didn't quite understand what he meant by New Half, so he explained, "you know - part man, part woman. We call them New Half in Japan" Ooooh! So, we were on our way to see a Japanese drag show! Sweet! Our colleague and his wife found the whole thing hysterical and couldn't wait to share the fun with us. We sat down at a table where a waiter greeted us and talked to our friend in Japanese for awhile and afterwards said that he asked the waiter to send out a New Half to talk with us before the show! A few minutes later, a gorgeous Japanese woman came over and sat down with us. As soon as she started speaking we knew SHE was really a HE. But, oh my gosh you would have never guessed if it weren't for the manly, deep voice! We told her we were from California and although she recognized "Californ

Japanese Gardens

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We spent more time in Japanese gardens than we did anywhere else in Japan. Some people may find this rather dull, but gardens in Japan are exquisite and peaceful. We visited Tokyo Midtown Park, Shinjuku Central Park, Shinjuku National Gardens, and Kyoto Botanical Gardens. Tokyo Midtown Garden Kyoto Botanical Gardens Bamboo Garden in the Kyoto Botanical Gardens Shinjuku Central Park Nappers at the Kyoto Botanical Garden. I love this shot. Tokyo Government Building seen from Shinjuku Central Park Bonsai Exhibit at the Kyoto Botanical Gardens Conservatory at the Kyoto Botanical Garden The biggest Begonias I've ever seen! Inside the Conservatory. Kyoto Botanical Garden These purple flowers reminded me of Willy Wonka. Amazing rose garden at the Kyoto Botanical Garden Lily pads! How the homeless dry their clothes at Shinjuku Central Park Relaxing at Shinjuku National Gardens Shinjuku National Garden Traditional Japanese tea house at the Shinjuku National Gard