The Japanese Style American Tea Room #BeverlyHills

The Japanese Style American Tea Room
日本風のアメリカン・ティー・ルーム

Prada. Strolling around the town is like stepping into a movie set. Beverly Hills is a beautiful place. But after you’ve had your fill of shopping (window shopping for some of us) and taking photos, you’ll probably crave a pick-me-up. Saunter over to the American Tea Room. You’ll enter a space with a Japanese sense of design. No clutter. (Mari Kondo would be proud!) High-grade teas from around the world are on display. Including Hekisui matcha tea – which is served to the Emperor of Japan! Besides the extensive matcha menu, inventive takes on Earl Grey, espresso and other café classics are served. Desire a nibble with your beverage? American Tea Room’s fresh pastries are fabulous. Crowd favorites include English scones studded with cranberries, mini cream cake rolls and French croissant rolls. 


ビバリーヒルズの中心であるアメリカン・ティー・ルームは実際に日本的なセンスの店です。世界から集められた一流の茶葉は 空間できちんと並んでいます。様々な国の急須やお茶の道具も販売しています。アフタヌーン・ティーを召し上がる部屋では世界中の美味しい食べ物を頂くことができます。お勧めはイギリスのスコーンとフランス風の小さい、可愛いクリーム・ケーキ・ロールです。

Rose Petal Jam Filled Blueberry Cupcakes #RedWhiteandBlue #SundaySupper

Fireworks cascade in the night sky. Faces turned heavenward in awe. It must be the Fourth of July in America. And it must be summer! The time of year when I’d travel from Tokyo to visit Mom in Massachusetts. Mom passed several years ago.

One of the most vivid summertime memories with Mom involves blueberries. She loved the little gems. Blueberries were something I only ate in the States with her. Blueberries were usually sprinkled atop a Cool Whip heavy ice cream sundae.

Yes, I remember the educational trips to Plymouth Rock and Cape Cod, too. To tell the truth, Plymouth Rock, was somewhat disappointing. All right, the Mayflower with our brave English ancestors landed there. But it was a grey rock with some chicken wire around it! Maybe there is now a proper placard and encasement honoring the historical significance of the spot.

The 4th of July was also Mom’s birthday. So, in addition to our favorite blueberries...

Chinese Salted Egg Custard aka Liu Sha Bao

One trip that got me to love traveling was when I went to the unique and amazing country of China. I wanted to go somewhere foreign and with the many different types of food to try, so since I loved Chinese food and wanted to explore more on the authentic flavors, I went to China! My trip taught me a lot of new things. I opened my eyes and had me meet the best people there!

I went there in October, when it was the PERFECT time to stay out without the blazing weather or the cold spring days. I visited Hong Kong and Beijing, where I was able to try a smorgasbord of Cantonese and Mongolian cuisine. I was also surprised with Macau, as they didn’t only have the amazing hotels and modern sights to see, but the markets where they sold tons of souvenirs and food at such affordable prices. Of course, their Portuguese-Chinese fusion dishes are a huge plus to my trip as well. Each area has a specific taste, but all with the same kick that makes me want to go back for more.

Cowboy Sushi #SundaySupper #RootsinBoots

Japanese food and language were all I knew until age 5 (although I’m an American of European descent.) Tokyo was my hometown until age 18. Japan is famous for its Kobe beef. However, my first bite of beef was at my grandmother’s house in Colorado. I was sent there one summer to learn English. Good thing my Nona was patient…And had a large stash of nori. (Dried Japanese seaweed) I refused to eat meat if not wrapped in nori. Besides being the best grandmother ever, Nona was an excellent cook. So the beef (wrapped in nori) was swallowed without complaint.

On subsequent summer visits to Nona’s house, I was not quite as demanding. Also, I did learn English. Thanks to my grandmother and my cousins. Some of them managed corn and green bean farms. On drives to the farms - or even to the market - I saw grazing cattle. It was quite a contrast to my “regular” life in cosmopolitan Tokyo. But a welcome change. Colorado summers were opportunities to learn about family, horseback riding, S’Mores and how to enjoy American beef!

Mastering the Art of Japanese Cooking #Giveaway

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking pays homage to the oba-san*1 (granny or auntie) in the Japanese home kitchen.  Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking (published in 2007) was a generous share of how to create exquisite Japanese cuisine with a multicultural flair. If you’ve seen Chef Morimoto on Iron Chef on TV in Japan and/or America, you know he’s a master of Japanese and French cooking. (Frankly, he seems to be well versed in the cuisine of almost every country!) Almost 10 years later, it seems the Iron Chef has returned home to his Hiroshima roots with his latest cookbook.

Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking still has rebellious recipes such as potato chip-centric furikake (seasoned rice sprinkles.) The bulk of the Iron Chef’s recipes in his current cookbook, however, reverberate with Japan tradition. Chef Morimoto’s love for his mentors is also apparent. There are mentions of his time as an executive chef at Nobu in New York. (Thanks to his business partner, Robert De Niro, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa opened the door for foreigners craving an experience of Japanese flavors.) But the spotlight shines brightly on Mrs. Oyama. She was the missus of Ichiban Zushi where 18-year-old Masaharu Morimoto began his apprenticeship. Chef Morimoto recalls, “It was under her tutelage that I made my first dashi. (Japanese soup stock) Every morning, she and her daughter-in-law made the stock from scratch, steeping kombu (dried kelp) in a pot of barely bubbling water before adding handfuls of the feathery katsuobushi (bonito) flakes.”

Chocolate Tofu Cupcakes #SundaySupper

What’s your go-to chocolate? Or is chocolate passé?  Does it pales in comparison to savory snacks? My penchant for chocolate and cupcakes are inherited from my father.

My father passed this last February - the day after Valentine’s. He was a goodhearted gentleman. He loved chocolate and cupcakes. I have fond memories of sampling boxes of Bradenton, Florida’s Frosted Over Cupcakery. My father also loved the boxes of chocolate I’d send for birthdays and holidays.

On what turned out to be my last visit, I also brought chocolates. He was eating only strained foods. Yes, I was able to feed him chocolate pudding. But his appetite was diminished. Good news: For many of my father’s 93 years, I was privileged to bake chocolate cupcakes and other yummies for him.

In addition to my sweet tooth, thanks to my father’s job, Tokyo was my hometown for 18 years. As a tribute to my father and the country 

Veggie Ramen #SundaySupper

Mary Poppins would approve of this Ninja Baker’s Japanese veggie ramen. The famous Disney nanny was all about fun! In between traveling into colorful sidewalk art with her charges; she was singing, “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down!” (My Japanese nanny actually did crush up my medicine with honey.)

I’m not espousing the sweet stuff today.  But I am promoting ramen! Specifically Japanese noodles topped with veggies in amusing shapes. I’m no parenting expert. However, as an auntie and great-auntie I’ve noticed that when imagination is engaged, children will play along.

Plus, when children are involved in a project, when it’s their handiwork on the plate, they’re more likely to dig in. Even vegetables. Japanese bento tools and cookie cutters, by the way, are fantastic ways to create fun vegetable shapes.

You can also make Japanese-style octopus-shaped tofu dogs. It’s super easy.

Kippy's Organic Non-Dairy (Delicious!) Ice Cream is Going Global

Organic and outrageously delicious, Kippy's  Ice Cream may soon be cornering the world's dessert market.

オガニック、超美味しいキッピズアイスクリームは世界市場のデザート女王かもしりません。

Note: Kippy’s is expanding domestically and internationally.
Kippy's may be moving from Venice, CA  to Santa Monica or Mar Vista.
The first stop in global dessert domination for the queen of organic, non-dairy ice cream is Tokyo, Japan!
Consult KippysIceCream.com or telephone the shop to ensure you get your Kippy’s ice cream treat.

Kippy’sは進出しておりますのでオガニックアイスクリームをぜったい食べるように行く前にウェブサイト又は電話をした方が良いかもしりません。

Secrets to the Magic in Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea

Secrets of the Magic Kingdom: Tokyo Disneyland & Disney Sea

Are you a Disney fan? Me, too! So, I’m delighted to share a few secrets.
1. Enter the parks past 6 p.m. and you get a discount!
2. Can you prove you’re over 60 with an ID? You get a reduced rate!
3. Have kidlets under 3? They are in for free!
4. From 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays, tickets are also discounted.
5. Enjoy rides during “regular” meal hours. Eat at off hours.
 

Japanese Poetry and Pretty Pink Chocolate Blondies

When Life looks like a random romp through Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights; and foggy feelings arise like mist on English moors, what do you do? I reach for poetry. Japanese haiku poets I find are the most poignant. There’s an acceptance that joy and grief are intertwined.

The Japanese cherry blossom is a pretty popular topic in poetry. (Sakura – the Japanese word for cherry blossom – is also more frequently seen than “love” in Japanese song lyrics.)  No wonder. As the cherry blossom blooms, there is an awareness that its demise is around the corner.

With the passing of my father, many questions have arisen. My ideas about Love are shifting. Gentleness with myself seems to work best. The 3 mighty masters of the Japanese haiku brigade - Basho, Buson and Issa – bring Light to my struggles.

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