Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Too Picturesque

Harbor at Whitby with Abbey ruins on the hill
Upon arriving in Whitby, I realized that it is probably the most picturesque place I've ever been to. Hardly any view in any direction isn't worth photographing and so, Matthew and I took way too many photos of the scenery in one very small town(not really so small, 13,000, bigger than the towns we grew up in).

on the bus from York to Whitby
In reality, Yorkshire, in general, is beautiful and perfectly photographable. We loved York as well and even more, the quaint bus ride through the countryside.

Domo-kun also enjoyed the bus ride to Whitby

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tea and Scones in Edinburgh

Well, despite what everybody says is proper, we didn't have Tea in London. We waited to have Tea in Edinburgh and even then it wasn't full tea, just cream tea. Yummy though!

I thought it was all very picturesque with very nice lighting so I took more photos of the tea and scone than of anything other one thing in Edinburgh. How boringly obsessed I am with food.

And of course, we seem to have found the perfect place for me to live if I ever move to Edinburgh. It would have to be in the Cutie House; it's full of cute things. Actually, this was a little shop with window displays crammed full of cute things and wouldn't be a proper residence at all. Fun to pretend though!

And I'll actually post obvious evidence of our being in Edinburgh, Matthew in front of the very old cannon last used in the 15oo's because it took three days and 100 men to move it from place to place.

By the way, Edinburgh is beautiful and fantastic. We'll miss it and hope to revisit this old and amazing city some day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You'd see these things in Brussels!

Tonight I'm just posting on a few of the things I've seen everywhere, all the time, during the past two days.

While this sign is not posted everywhere, the idea it represents is seen everywhere. Puppies use any old spot along their walk and we've been lucky so far to avoid their little treasures, but one sad fellow was not so lucky this evening. We saw him make that fateful step but really, what can be done but to shrug it off and think, "at least it wasn't me." And besides, we don't speak French so how could we warn him?

The city is full to the brim with tiny cars. Lots and lots of cars. Most are actually very new and rather shiny. This little Fiat looks much older than most of the cars we've seen but it is still very shiny. Maybe it rains a lot here or perhaps the Belgians just like their cars to look nice.

The first thing we noticed while taking the metro from the airport to the train station was the amount of graffitti on any available surface. I guess people like to express themselves here. Matthew and I like graffitti so find it interesting. I think perhaps they don't worry about painting over it or washing it off and honestly, it seems that eventually each piece of graffitti will be painted over by another graffitti artists and eventually everybody with have their say in the end. It looks pretty in an urban way.

This little mannequin with a mini dress shirt(look at the size compared to the electrical plug) is not used everywhere but I thought it was cute and it does seem to represent how seriously the people here seem to take fashion and clothing. They all dress smartly but with their own very personal style. Nobody looks cardboard cutout to me, probably because I'm not used to the local fashion trends but really, nobody appears hemmed in by what is normal or seems proper. I like it! I wouldn't feel out of place in my giant striped stockings.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Little, naughty, Belgian cutie!

So, one of the most famous sights in Belgium is the statue of the little boy peeing. His name is Manneken Pis. Little Man is rather old considering how young he looks and he gets to wear such delightful costumes. It's funny, because he symbolizes the Brusselian's irreverent spirit but I guess now-a-days he needs clothing, what with all the tourists. He is, after all, probably the most looked at little pee-er in the world.

In celebration of seeing Manneken Pis, we ate some “Manneken Frites.” These were yummy frites, very well fried with plenty of yummy mayonnaise, which tasted a bit lemony. Yum!

I seem to like the frites!

(I'm in Belgium by the way, we arrived yesterday.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

little sister

My tofu bank has a new sister. They look very similar but have different functions. Little sister is soft and cushy; she is actually a cell phone holder. I'm not entirely sure I needed a cell phone holder, but like the little tofu bank, I just couldn't resist such a cute little creature.

Of course, the fact that the bank and the cell phone holder match was a big deciding factor in favor of the purchase. And, I must admit that the fact that her little "legs" and "arms" are just squishy little nobs was another good reason to buy such a cute but relatively useless little thing. She's also fun to squeeze!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Maybe...sort it really...Thai soup?

When my co-worker mentioned a few weeks ago that she loves Thai style soups with lemongrass and coconut flavors, I got to thinking, "I bet I could make something like that." I did look up a few recipes, but never looked at anything even remotely authentic.

Now, I don't have a clue when it comes to cooking with south asian ingredients. I'd just never used them until a couple days ago. Of course, in my typical fashion, I decided to use a recipe but then decided to completely forgo the recipe's instructions and even the ingredients list to combine three different recipes to make the dish I had in mind. So, all that to say, this is not authentic and is not a real recipe, but Matthew and I found it to be quite delicious, as did my co-worker.

My (sort of) recipe*:
In my food processor, I chopped up a nice bit each of: white ginger, baby ginger, fresh turmeric root, 2 garlic cloves, two stalks lemon grass, 1 shallot, a little water, lime zest from 1 lime, 2 red chilies. When all was well chopped(and my processor bowl was stained bright yellow), I sauted half the mixture in some canola oil and saved the rest of it in my freezer because I'd really made too much spice mixture. Once it was nice and sizzling, I added 2 1/2 cups water, a little box of coconut cream(just use a cup of coconut milk), 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, a teaspoonful of sugar, a handful of cilantro and a package of buna-shimeji. I let this simmer for a half hour or so before adding salt and pepper to taste, along with a few handfuls shrimp and four giant scallops cut into pieces. Once all was cooked and yummy, we poured the soup over cooked rice vermicelli. Yum!!

* I really hope I didn't forget any of the ingredients or steps that I used to make this.

my summer decoration

I spotted this cutie little string of felt fish when I was browsing for plastic bottles to use on our trip to Europe. It struck me as being the quintessential summer decoration, cheap, cute and easy to tack up.

For only $1.60 at the Daiso store, I just couldn't resist this fabulous little treasure.

Monday, September 7, 2009

cutest wine label

I buy wine based on the label, to try to deny it would be silly, just look at the darling bottle of sparkling wine I picked up at my favorite corner store the other day. Why wouldn't I want to buy something so cute?

I have no idea if it is good(although I always trust Rumi's selection) but I love the label!

Friday, September 4, 2009

my little bean tree

Last night, while shopping at our local Nijiya store, we found these fantastic Edamame vines. I'm excited to steam them up for a little treat but honestly, I think I fancy the fact that they are on the vine and look like a tree more than I look forward to eating the actual product.