Hungry , Hungry ......

Although, my activity is pretty limited since last week ( in Japan, most offices are closed and I do work on some business during this new year holidays,but I do not have to visit clients. ) and I don't think I have been burning such calories..... Why ?  why am I so hungry ???

Maybe because it is Winter ??? I felt so hungry between lunch and dinner, had this snack... Danish cookies ( I love their butter flavour ) and Japanese kakinotane & peanuts. 

hmmmm.   I remember my friends , some skiers ( not professional ) said that in Winter, they try to gain weights so that they can ski faster using the heavy body.... nono, I have not skied lately, so that excuse doesn't work... Oh, well, I have to confess, I have not worked out lately. ( Remember, Cindy Crawford Video )  That will be my new year's resolution ( one of them ) ...
Try to work out more.... Stick to the current ( or the best ) weight... !  

Happy New Year !!!!! 

Not Celebrating New Year

Because I am supposed to be in mourning period still for my father's death, I did not celebrate new year this time.  It is difficult since I love all kinds of new year thing including the decoration on the door. 

If you check my last year's new year food, you can see what I usually eat for new year.  

So, I didn't prepare much this year, still wanted to have a few seasonal food.... This is one example.  Grilled Mochi ( rice cake ) .  The right is sugar ( about 1 tea spoon ) and 2 tea spoons of soy sauce.  This bit salty bit sweet sauce, I love !  You dip the rice cake into the sauce.  One of Winter food. 

New Year Eve --- Kimchi Nabe

We had Kimchi Nabe over New Year eve, this red spicy Korean style food warmed us up. 

There was some package of the soup for this and other ingredients were, tofu, hakusai ( Chinese cabbage ), scallion, meat balls, slice pork etc...

Drinks were beer and wine.  

It seems there are two groups of people, one watches traditional NHK program ( Kohaku Utagassen --- Red women's team vs. White men's team ) and another watches Mixed Martial Arts program on TBS.  

Which would you watch ?  And around 1 a.m., we had Soba Noodle ( buckwheat noodle ) , which is tradition for new year.  ( You are supposed to eat just before midnight.... we were too late ) 


Wasabi & Soy Sauce Onigiri ( rice ball )

This is from Otsumami Yokocho cook book. 
It was great !  If you like spicy wasabi flavour, you will love it !

Ingredients: ( for this two small rice balls ) 
2 small cups of steamed white rice
1 tea spoon of soy sauce
1 tea spoon of wasabi ( I used wasabi in tube -- sold in a package like tooth paste ) 
some nori ( the black seaweed sheets in the photo ) 

1. Put rice in a bowl.  Add soy sauce and wasabi.
2. Stir well. make 2 balls like the photo.
3. Wrap them with nori.  Put a pinch of wasabi for decoration ( like photo ).

Tip: When you make the rice ball, wet your hands with lukewarm water, otherwise, the rice will stick to your hands.  

Stollen & Miso Soup

A slice of Stollen ( German Christmas Cake ) and miso soup for breakfast one morning after Christmas !

For Christmas, I had roasted chicken, some slices of roasted beef, 
tomato & mozzarella cheese, basil salad, crab pate & cucumber cracker....totally forgot to take the photo since we were so hungry. 
Sorry !


East meets West --- Miso Soup and Cheese

Maybe this photo is too small.  The left is bread containing curry inside.  The right is miso soup ( with shredded burdock, daikon radish , chopped scallion ).  On the top, I added shredded cheese.

It may sound strange combination, but it tastes good !  Try miso soup and cheese combination when you have a chance, please.  Both are fermented food, maybe that is why ?  It should be healthy also.

While I was on weight loss program ( my own program ), I tried to eat fruits only for breakfast.  It was good, but since September or October, it started feeling bit too cold for morning stomach, so I stopped it. ( I still eat some fruits for breakfast )  Instead, I switched to something warm or hot.  

I hope my weight stays same..... Let's see how it goes.  This holiday season is dangerous..so will watch out my appetite..

Kitazawa Shrine --- Local Guardian

I needed to work on some business and stopped by here, the shrine on the way back today.  To thank for the year of 2008.  I am not so religious, but respect all the religion.  Sometimes I go to churches, temples and shrines.... ( This is normal for Japanese.  Depending on the situation.  Sometimes friends hold weddings at churches, shrines.... when my father died, it was Buddhism. ) 

This shrine is supposed to protect my area and usually I visit for new year's wish.  For Japaenese, year end and new year start is something special.... closure and new start, where people clean up the house and prepare for happy new year.... yes, while I am still working ( most of the offices are already on new year holidays ) , I am cleaning my place also.  Did wash the curtains, wiped the windows, sold some of the books I have already read etc. etc....

Beef Bowl --- Yoshinoya

If you are in Tokyo, there are many Yoshinoya you can find, the leading restaurant of beef bowl.  

I had this lunch.  There are three sizes, this is the smallest and I also ordered miso soup, which is 50 yen.  The total was 430 yen.  

Usually, lunch set menu is around 1000 yen ( 600 yen to 1200 yen is the range , I would say).  Compared to those, it feels quite reasonable and when you don't have much time , nice enough. ( at least for myself ! ) 

Dunhill's Lounge in Ginza ( Aquarium )

The other day, I had a meeting at this lounge located on 3rd floor of Dunhill's building. ( Men's Wear Brand )   This is quiet and good place for meeting.  It feels like invited to somebody's den or library.  

2-6-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 
Alfred Dunhill Ginza 
Tel: 03-3562-1680