Archive of Past Blog Entries

Amazing Tips for WiFi and Easy Japan Travel

Joy buzzed through my body. 15 years of marriage later, I was taking my husband on a dream trip to Japan. Nervous energy kicked in too as I packed suitcases. For the first time I was going to meet Japanese friends I’d spoken to on Skype. (iTalki.com and CaféTalk.com are inexpensive ways to learn and practice Japanese. Discernment of whom you choose to befriend is a definite plus.)  Upon arrival in Osaka’s Kansai Airport... Read Full Article

Ina Garten’s Pound Cake, Chocolate, Matcha, Marriage and Compromise

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa’s latest cookbook is dedicated to her husband. It’s all about the recipes her spouse loves. Ina Garten’s fantastic recipes have always been inspirational. So have her elegant parties. As much as I love my husband, I find it hard to be selfless like the Barefoot... Read Full Article

Ninja Diary, The Royal Antidote for the Blues

Haply I think on thee, and then my state, Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth, sings hyms at heaven’s gate -Sonnet 29, William Shakespeare In the midst of blessings, sometimes the blues come a-calling. But then I remember my heroes... Emperor Meiji of Japan (1852-1912) was the ultimate multitasker. He cast aside criticism. He persevered in propelling Japan in a positive direction. After 200 years of isolation... Read Full Article

Powerful Peppermint Magic in Japan and in Chocolate Cupcakes

Ancient Japanese knew the secrets of peppermint. (The miracles of chocolate and cupcakes came to Japan a few centuries later.) Alongside their Egyptian counterparts Japanese healers were prescribing peppermint leaves, teas and oils for digestive and respiratory issues. Toothaches and headaches were also cured with the perfect mint. The current interest in the natural medicines has put the restorative qualities of peppermint back in the spotlight... Read Full Article

Amazing Twists on Traditional Tea, Shuhari Matcha Cafe

Amazing Twists on Traditional Tea, Shuhari Matcha Café ヴェニスおしゃれな守破離(Shuhari)抹茶カフェ Centuries of traditional Japanese tea craft mingle with modern treats at Shuhari Matcha Café. Japanese high-quality tea ceremony matcha is whisked and served. Just like the kind that is served by kimono-clad beauties in Kyoto. However, the café also adds creative twists on classic Japanese and American comfort foods. Coconut milk swirls in... Read Full Article

It's A Wonderful Life: 5 Magic Keys from the Japanese Tea Ceremony...#BetterWithMissJones Matcha Frosted Lavender Cupcakes

Matcha mania is sweeping the US at the moment. Bon Appetit has recipes for everything from matcha donuts to matcha smoothies and spa day masks! Starbucks has “shaken, not stirred” 007 sexy iced green tea and sensuous matcha lattes. It makes me giggle to see this matcha storm brewing in America. In Japan, matcha mania is also alive and well. (And has been around for as long as I can remember.) Myriads of yummy cakes, ice creams... Read Full Article

Dive into Pleasure, 5 Skinny Secrets from Japan, #Gluten-Free #Glutino

Glutino kindly provided the gluten-free products pictured in this post. All opinions are my own. Dive into Pleasure, 5 Skinny Secrets from Japan, #Gluten-Free #Glutino Ahhhh, the holidays! Bright lights, beautiful presents and big temptations entice this foodie. Growing up in Japan (babyhood to UCLA) allowed me to glean a few secrets to staying skinny. Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus. You can enjoy your Christmas cake and eat it too! Even... Read Full Article

Good News from The Ninja Baker

Holidays bring families together, gifts around the Christmas tree and sweet carols. Or candle lighting of the Menorah with loved ones. In Japan, Christmas is typically a commercial holiday; so, Christmas cake appears. (Bestsellers tend to have tons of strawberries, whipped cream and cute chocolates.) Keeping with the good cheer of the season, I want to share some sweet news. 1. For you or the foodies in your life, click this link to a... Read Full Article

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