Archive of Past Blog Entries

CourseHorse Gallops into LA #GourmandiseSchool

CourseHorse has galloped into LA! Click on the site. Look up almost any subject and CourseHorse will connect you to a class.  It’s a great way to lean into a dream. Say you want to switch careers. Maybe visions of creating masterpiece cakes keep appearing while analyzing data. Wouldn’t it be nice to throw on an apron over pajamas instead of a 3-piece suit? Still, you suspect stenciling on fondant should be mastered before... Read Full Article

Tuna and Tomato Bento #SundaySupper

When Japanese TV weather reporters start their cherry blossom forecasts, you know it’s spring. Due to the diversity of temperatures in Japan, the pretty pink petals are spotted at different times. Follow the Parade of Cherry Blossom Festivals and Parties, you’ll see picnics! Who wouldn’t want to enjoy yummy treats under branches laden with pink? Truly it is like fairyland. Parks in Japan turn into magical places. You want to... Read Full Article

Easy Japanese Lemon Yuzu Bars #SundaySupper

Entering springtime is like getting to color again with bright lemon and blushing rose crayons. Stark tree branches now blossom with flowers.  It’s a season of hope.  Perhaps the plethora of lemons used in spring baking, reflects the optimistic moods of recipe makers.  Ironically, winter is the prime time for American lemon and its Japanese citrus cousin, yuzu. Italian lemons (specifically in the Sorrento region) are at... Read Full Article

Betty Watkinson's Cranberry Bread

Magic, mother’s love and memories are wrapped up in Betty Watkinson’s cranberry bread. Betty was my husband, David’s mom. Holidays for David, always involved Betty’s cranberry bread. Betty was a master baker. Every Friday, after school, she’d bake pies and cakes with her mother. (My husband’s grandmother.) Sadly, soon after I met my mother-in-law, she had a stroke.  Her mind was never the same. But... Read Full Article

Follow the Parade of Cherry Blossom Festivals and Parties in Japan

Japan springs into party and festival mode with the appearance of cherry blossoms. From mid-March to April’s end, national TV news concludes with a cherry blossom forecast. The climb of the pale petaled wonders from Japan’s subtropical Okinawa to the tippy top island of Hokkaido is announced. (Okinawans start their festivals in late January. Hokkaido farmers typically celebrate in late April or early May.)  Hirosaki Castle in... Read Full Article

Celebrating Community, Childhood and Salt 'n Straw Organic Ice Cream

Celebrating Community, Childhood and Organic Ice Cream Salt & Straw 純粋な子供の頃を思い出すアイス・クリーム     Restaurant Data レストランの情報: Venice Beach ベニス・ビーチ: 1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA  Tel. (310) 310-8429 Larchmont ラーチモント: 240 N. Larchmont Blvd. Los Angeles, CA (323) 466-0485 Studio City スタジオ・シティ: 12180 1/2 Ventura Blvd. Los Angeles, CA (818) 358-2890 Web Site ウエブ・サイト... Read Full Article

Traveling Vegan in Japan

The vegan lifestyle is new in Japan; vegetarianism is not. Shojin ryori (精進料理) - the vegetarian diet of the Buddhist monks - has been around for centuries in Japan. Japanese cuisine (and markets) are conducive to vegan cooking. (Lots of lovely veggies.) If you are used to fancy vegan fare and need a kitchen, consider renting an apartment. If a microwave will do the trick, you can probably rent one. Budget travelers staying at the... Read Full Article

Japanese Nikuman Meat Buns Made Easy

Trees naked of blossoms shivered under gray skies. The steaming hot Japanese nikuman meat buns were a great comfort. And wonderful hand warmers! Soft snow-white bread gave way to slightly spiced pork. Spring seemed an eternity away but the nikuman vanquished winter chills.  In Japan, you know it’s winter when nikuman meat buns appear. Steaming up glass cases are the plump Japanese buns. (There are also buns stuffed with sweet red... Read Full Article

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