27 Nov 2012, 4:59pm
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Thanksgiving 2012

Hey everyone! Hope you guys had a wonderful holiday. I know I haven’t been around very much here, but I’m still around and taking pictures of my food! I have a lot of stuff sitting around on my computer and camera but haven’t actually had a moment to sit down and post something. I know, I know. Same excuses! It’s actually very hard to get back into the regularity of posting after such a large gap of time…but it’s never too late to start over, right? In any case, I figured my brother cooking his very first Thanksgiving turkey warranted a splashy post!

My brother’s been living out in Minnesota for several years now, but this was actually my first trip out there. I joked that I would come only if he “cooked something fabulous,” and though that obviously wasn’t the only reason for my visit, he came through quite impressively! The above turkey was the result, and it looked amazing! He used Alton Brown’s brine recipe, which apparently calls for no stuffing. I think Alton has something against it (but I don’t know what). I’m a firm believer in Alton’s recipes though, and I think it was a success! We didn’t really know what to do with the neck and gibblets, but we did cook down the carcass to make turkey stock afterward. I sat around the house the following day stirring the pot. :)

The rest of the meal after the jump.

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Thanksgiving 2011

Okay, so totally belated, but I really wanted to post these pics from Thanksgiving because it was an amazing time with lots of great food, and it would be a shame to let these linger away on my hard drive.

Hosted by my favorite foodie pair N & I, Turkey Day 2011 was bound to be a dazzling affair and it did not disappoint. Pictured above is the turkey that was purchased from an (Amish?) farm somewhere, and shipped fresh and express. I thought it came out really well, succulent and perfect. (Sorry it’s at a weird angle…it was hard to get it all in one shot!)

The rest of the feast after the jump:

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Merry Christmas!

WOW. Okay, so I’m an utter blog failure. After being away for so long, it gets harder and harder to come back, haha. However, I do have a whole lot of stuff on my computer that I can post, if only I remember the meals themselves. And with the year coming to an end and all, it seems as good a time as any to start again. Hopefully I’ll be posting more regularly for 2012…or at least that’s the plan. ♥

Meanwhile, I hope everyone has been having a great holiday and Christmas! It always feels a bit anti-climatic when Christmas falls on a weekend. It’s a day off ANYWAY so it doesn’t feel special at all. And tomorrow is back to the grind, which is no fun at all. The week between Christmas and New Year is kind of a drag, too. I didn’t really do anything too special this year. Being Japanese means Christmas is just about presents, more or less. (We’re more New Year’s people, and even that has been more and more low-key in my family in recent years). But I always try to get a log cake since it’s any excuse for seasonal sweets is a good one.

I got it from Les Delices bakery again this year. Last year’s Bûche de Noël was from there as well, and I had been a bit disappointed by the mildness of the praline cake. I decided to go with the classic chocolate this year, and it was definitely much better! The vanilla cake was very moist and soft, and the chocolate mousse icing whipped and wonderful. Not too sweet, which seems to be a pretty consistent trait with the bakery items at Les Delices.

More pics under the cut, including a poached pear tart, also from the same bakery:

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Easter

Happy May Day everybody! I’m veering off my slowly trickling Hawaii posts to write about last week’s tour de force of culinary mastery known as the Easter Pot-luck Dinner of Epicness. Hosted by my friends who also brought you their Christmas Dinner (where, if you recall, we couldn’t congratulate ourselves enough for a job well done), the event was filled to the brim with so much food and fabulosity that the guests hardly knew what to do with it all. And to make matters even more intense, we had a rowdy game of Taboo afterward that I don’t think I’ve recovered from yet. (Ever notice that when you’re playing this game, your voice keeps rising and rising until you realize you’re screaming at the top of your lungs? I think somehow this contributes to the effectiveness of your strategy, because everyone gets so crazed that they shout back anything, everything that comes to mind, and ONE of those things has to be the right answer!!)

Pictured above is the ham, which our lovely hostess made using Alton Brown’s City Ham recipe. Alton is always a good bet, and it certainly was the case here. The ham actually came out quite late in the evening, but I still scarfed down a few succulent slices despite the fact that I’d already eaten enough food for 3 people. The crust was wondrous and crispy, and the meat perfectly cooked.

The rest:

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Holiday Cakes

What’s any holiday without a tasty cake to celebrate it? Every Christmas for the last few years, I’ve gotten a Bûche de Noël – Christmas log cake – and each year I try to get them from different bakeries.

This year I decided to try one from the aforementioned Les Delices bakery in Rockville. They had a choice of praline or chocolate, and I went with the former (pictured above). I thought it was okay…maybe a little subdued in flavor? At least the icing wasn’t too oily or thick, but it left me feeling like it could’ve been a little sweeter. Perhaps the chocolate was the way I should’ve gone.

More after the jump:

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31 Dec 2010, 4:41pm
dinner holiday
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Christmas Dinner

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! I still have quite the backlog of posts to get to (*glances uneasily at the folder filled with pic files from months ago*), but those will have to wait until next year. XD I’m going to make it my new year’s resolution to try and get posts done in a more timely manner, but in the meantime, I wanted to share pics from my Christmas dinner! My friends cooked up a festive meal – to which I contributed one dish – and it was absolutely fabulous. In fact, we spent most of the night congratulating ourselves on our culinary masterpieces, and declared the dinner to be a smashing success that deserved all the praise we lavished upon it.

Pictured above is the roasted chicken (one of 2), which was accompanied by a nice mustard seed gravy. The chicken was perfectly cooked and juicy. o(^___^)o

The rest –

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Christmas Cookies

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!

Just wanted to drop in with this cookie post, since I got such cute and colorful ones at the Les Delices Bakery today. (I’ll be doing another post on this bakery later). I ♥ this bakery very much! This cash-only place is off of Gude Drive in Rockville.

I really liked these cookies! Nice, and not too sweet. They paired perfectly with my cup of Prince of Wales tea with milk. (^__^)

I also got a tin of Christmas themed cookies from Yoku Moku, a Japanese cookie company. (Not at Les Delices – these were a gift). I love their smooth, buttery cookies! It’s a bit of a hassle to unwrap each one when you just wanna dive in and eat them all in one go, but I suppose it helps to restrain yourself so you don’t consume an entire tin at once.

Obviously, I took the above picture after several cookies had already been eaten, but you can still see how cheerful it looked with all the pretty colors. As for the cookies themselves:

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Happy New Year!

new year cake

Happy New Year, everyone! \(^O^)/ Hope you had a great start to 2010, and a lovely winter holiday. I apologize for neglecting this blog for the past few weeks. I kept meaning to update, but it’s been a bit of a lazy Christmas season for me. I’m resolving to be more active hereon for the new year, and to catch up on my backlog of posts I’ve been meaning to get to for a while.

New Year happens to be the biggest holiday of the year for Japanese people, and like most celebrations, it centers around the food. Wiki has an article about the traditional “osechi” food here, which is served on New Year’s Day. My mom prepares it every year, though this year’s spread was much more scaled back than usual.

But first, we must have the “toshi-koshi” noodles on New Year’s eve:

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1 Jan 2010, 12:20am
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Merry Christmas!

winter buche

I know…am very late with this post. But I figured I might as well put it up, since I had the photo on hand, and because it looks so cute. XD;

This Bûche de Noël cake is from Whole Foods. I’ve gotten log cakes from different places in the last several years, and this is certainly one of the more festive looking ones. Unfortunately, it looked a lot better than it tasted! The outer frosting was made from a very oily butter cream, and had the consistency of Crisco. Ugh. The chocolate frosting on the inside was a little lighter, though not too much better. The flavor of the cake itself wasn’t bad though, and had good texture.

I’ll be looking elsewhere for a Bûche de Noël next year, though.

Thanksgiving!

thanks turkey

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!! I’m a little backed up in posts, and I haven’t even gotten to my San Francisco material yet. However, I’m skipping ahead to do my Thanksgiving post now, before it gets so pushed back that you’re reading about it at Christmas. XD;;

So this year, I was invited again to my dear friends’ I & N’s place. (You know, I’m never quite sure if I ought to use real names here…if I blog about you, let me know if you mind?) It was as fabulous a spread as it was the year before, both food and company wise! The first thing that caught my eye when I entered the dining room at a quarter to four was of course, this gorgeous turkey pictured above, brined and cooked via a great recipe by Alton Brown. Several side dishes already lined the table, while numerous others were finishing in the oven. There were so many dishes it was hard to keep up!

I tried to take at least a bite of everything, but there’s sadly only a finite amount of food I can throw back in one sitting. There’s much to get through, so without further ado:

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