Udon noodles

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With a bread-machine, Udon making is a lot easier. This was my first experience to make a dough with the machine, which turned out to be pretty fun as I knew I wasn’t gonna fail in making it as long as I followed the recipe that came with it. Yes. It turned out to be pretty good.
It got KOSHI (right texture or elasticity) and the right amount of salt to bring out the noodle’s flavor.

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Black Bean Salad

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タンドリーチキン。

すごく美味しく出来た。(レシピ:Cookpadより。リンクは見当たらないので今回は省略)

それで、よく美味しくできた料理の話をする友達に、写真を送信してみる。

すると、、、。

「アボガドのサラダ、めちゃ美味しそう」

と返信が。「そっち(?)か。」そういえば、彼女はベジタリアン(に心がけてなろうとしているの)だった。

でも、こっちのサラダもとても美味しくヘルシーでした。大量にできて、3〜4日夕飯の副菜として出したけど、飽きなかった。

(レシピ:http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/black-bean-salad-recipe.html)

Cake Sale’ (It is not “Sale.”It is pronounced more like “Sa la”, I think )

Cake Sale’ is something that looks fancy which is great to bring as Sashiire(a Japanese noun that means bringing in some foods or drinks when you visit somebody)and not so difficult to make. Once you know the process, it is actually pretty simple to make. If you would like it to look especially nice, you can put sliced tomatoes on top like the picture below. (Just be aware not to burn the top!!In oven, covering up the top with a piece of aluminum foil until the heat goes through inside would help.)

Cake

Olive, Onion, Mushrooms and Tomato

I love appearance of Cake Sale’. It is like a sunshine in bright yellow with some characters. Depending on what you would mix in it, it makes a different face. So, basically you are making your own sun shine! In the picture, I put black olives, mushrooms, parsley, beacons and tomatoes on top. You can put pretty much anything for your taste. But, I always try to put simplest varieties so that you can taste each ingredient.

Baked in a smaller size

Baked in a smaller size

I made one for my husband’s family gathering and they seemed to like it. What was great was that they asked what the dish was and how to make it, which lit up the conversation well. Although I had hard time pronouncing the name, it became a very nice conversation starter.

Cake Sale’ – a sun shine that bring people closer. I think the food is blessing.

Scone Experiment

スコーンって簡単に作れる!「簡単で美味しい手作りのお菓子コンテスト」があったら、きっと上位に入ると思う。レシピによっても簡単さは違うけど、ホットケーキミックスを使ってできちゃう作り方もある。私がよく利用させてもらっているレシピサイトのクックパッドでも、「スコーン」と検索すると4800以上レシピが出てくる。だから、種類もいろいろ。紅茶をや抹茶を入れたり、プリン味なんてのも。

Scones are easy to make! If you’re going to participate in a competition featuring on easy, tasty, and hand-made sweets, scones are something to offer on the judge’s table. Easiness on making scones differs depending on the recipe you choose. Some recipes prefer to use a pancake mix, which makes the making process very simple. I often use a recipe site called “Cookpad” in Japanese. Typing in ‘スコーン(Scone)’ as a key word, they come up with more than 4800 recipes of varieties of scones. You might find Maccha scones or even pudding-flavor ones.

形もこうして焼けばスタバ風なんだって。I also found the method to make Starbucks-like scones. FUN!! ⇩

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Before Baking

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After Baking

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Cranberries and Walnuts Scones

先日、スコーンをお土産に持っていったら、お友達が翌日メールをくれた。

「めっちゃ美味しい!」って。

おかしいけど涙が出るほどうれしかった。人のことを思いながら作って喜ばれるってうれしいなあと実感☆

自分が大好きなレシピを目指そう!!

そう思って、ヨーグルトを足してみたり、分量を変えてみたり。試行錯誤の道は続きます。

I brought hand-made scones to my friend who invited me for dinner. She texted me next day,”Those scones are awesome!” I almost cried for the joy and ascertained that it was such a pleasure for me to make somebody happy with foods I made just for the person.

Now my scone-related goal is this: Exploring a scone recipe that I love!I’ve been trying some yogurt in the dough, changed ratio of ingredients….The experiment to find my favorite scone recipe goes on.

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Cranberry, Hazelnuts and Walnuts Scones

Whole Wheat Bread Loaf

全粒小麦で食パンを作った!

Homemade 100% Whole Wheat Bread

If you go to an average supermarket like Ito-Yokado in Japan, what you see most at the bread section is likely to be white bread and whole wheat breads are more expensive than white breads. It seems white breads are “normal” whereas whole wheat ones are considered to be somewhat “special” and healthy eaters without debt, or somewhat rich people, would consume.

Another bread fact in Japan is that bread making machines are hitting the market very well. My mom and my sister each bought one of those on-line and seem to enjoy easy process of making bread at home. I tried some of the breads my mom made and they were delicious. You can make a variety of bread by customizing the flour and other ingredients like butter or nuts. Once you put all the ingredients in the machine, what you have to do it to push the button and come back to meet a new born fresh bread with nice smell. So, basically it seems very easy and helps many moms in Japan.

The fact I touched upon earlier that white whole wheat breads are more expensive than white ones means making white bread in one of those machines is cheaper than making wheat breads. It’s because wheat flour is more expensive than white bread and harder to get in general in Japan. This is why when I see many kinds of whole wheat or whole grain flours or breads are sold here in the U.S. I get very excited.

With this in my mind, I made a loaf of bread with 100% whole wheat flour for the first time in my life! Can you imagine how exciting it is?! For me while living in Japan just two months ago, a loaf of bread especially with whole wheat flour was something I should buy, not something I could imagine making(I don’t own a bread machine). That’s why when this huge, to me at least, square fresh bread came out of my oven, I was so astonished and screamed to myself,”Dekita!” which means “I did(made) it!” in Japanese. Being so dense and heavy with 100% whole wheat, it was utterly healthy and I could be proud of myself for a while just looking at it.

The making process was interesting… I found a recipe for whole wheat bread on a bag of the flour I bought days ago, which urged me to come to the kitchen to make one. However, right after I started cooking, I was very skeptical about the recipe. It said,”Add 4 to 5 cups of whole wheat flour.” That sounded a lot of flour to me! (You know everything in Japan is smaller sized than in the U.S.) (- -;) What sounded even more funny was the instruction used the word: TO. 4 “TO” 5 cups?! How ambiguous!! Why doesn’t it tell me the exact amount like 4 cups? Please don’t leave it up to me(- -…)

Being suspicious, I started cooking. The recipe would make 1 9″X5″(23cmx13cm) loaf of bread. I was afraid that the dough would be much bigger than the sized pan. So,during the first step of the recipe, I almost  rebelled at the recipe by changing the amount,,, but I decided to have a faith in that recipe and the company of the flour.

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やさしい味がする

The bread turned out to be just fine as you can see in the picture. My skepticism flew away, meeting the newly made bread by myself. It turned out that I needed 4 to 5 cups of flour to make the dough elastic and the ambiguity of 4 TO 5 cups were explained by the knitting process during which I had to adjust the amount of flour to make the dough just right in it’s softness and moisture.

I thank for the recipe now.

About Me☃

Hello, I’m Ryoko. I decided to start this blog to post pictures, happenings, and thoughts related to my cooking just because I love cooking♡

As you can tell from my rusty(probably unnatural) English, I am Japanese who grew up in Japan. I became 30 in 2012.

In Japan, there are more and more good pre-made foods sold at a convenience store. Also, you can enjoy a variety of gourmet foods at department stores. With this kind of reality and the traditional idea of Japan being a country of SUSHI and good foods, people may think I have had an easy access to good food in my life.

I say, yes I have. But, what has made it easy for me to access to good food is my mother. I appreciate my mom so much because this access to food has made me fond of cooking, of course eating included, that led me to be a better cook.

The memory of my first cooking goes back to when I was small, maybe around 5 years old of age.
My mother often tells me that she would let me use a knife in our kitchen when I was a little girl, and I can still picture in my eyes that scene where I would peel an apple right next to my mother in the kitchen in my hometown in Nagano prefecture, which is famous for their fresh apple.

According to my mom, I was a weird kid as long as eating goes. I would like to eat dry fish or Natto(fermented soy beans) as snack.I guess that explains where my healthy thick bones in my arms came from.


My orientations for cooking are—
-Be thankful for living things I cook and eat
-Buy and use fresh ingredients as much as my allowance can allow

I am not vegan and don’t intend to be for now, but I would like to respect all the living things I cook and eat.
Also, I believe fresh ingredients would make a difference on the appearance of food and would be good for our health.


What I care about in my cooking or what I would like to pursue is CREATIVITY.
I think this is really easy to say, but hard to do.
In my opinion, cooking itself is a mean of creativity (I like to touch on this sometime in my blog)
and I would like to have my own creativity bloom in my kitchen and successively on our table.

Thank you and hope you enjoy the cooking journey with me!

Translation ~~~

こんにちは、りょうこです。お料理が大好きなので、写真や、料理にまつわる出来事や思ったことを書きたいと思って、ブログを始めることにしました。(祝^^/)
もともとお料理は好きで、一人暮らしをしていたときも、ほとんど夕ご飯は作っていました。日本には美味しいものがたくさん有るけど、私が料理好きになったのは、お母さんが小さい頃から包丁を持たせてくれたお陰だと思ってます。今でも、5歳くらいのときかなあ、台所で夕飯の支度をするお母さんの隣で、包丁でりんごの皮をむいていたのを思い出します。ちなみに、小さいとき私は変な子で、めざしとか、納豆とかをおやつにしていたんだって。腕の骨ががっしりしてるのはそのためかと思います。

ーー
料理における志向としては、

−生きるものたちへのありがとうの気持ちを持つこと

−なるべく(予算が許すかぎり)新鮮な物を買うこと

かな。極端に菜食主義になることは今の私は選べませんが、生きる物たちを食べていることは意識しながらありがとうの気持ちを持って、お料理していきたいと思っています。それからやっぱり、新鮮な物を食べる。見た目にも身体にも大事かなって思うから。

ーー
それから、私の料理におけるテーマはクリエイティビティ。

料理自体がクリエイティブ(これについては、また書きたいなあ)
今ここに生きてる私にしかできないクリエイティブが生まれたらいいな。

以上です。よろしくね(^^ぶい)