Tuesday, November 30, 2010

my salad cravings

Ever since coming back from Japan, I've been craving salads non-stop. It may seem odd since one of my main posts on food we ate in Tokyo was very salad centric, but honestly, we didn't eat all that many vegetables and more often than not ate rich, fatty meat centric meals. So, despite having consumed a number of tasty salads since returning home, I haven't quite scratched that salad itch. Of course, it doesn't help that Matthew hates, hates, hates salad.

This afternoon I had many random items to use up, half an apple from our ham and apple scramble, chestnuts from making chestnut cream puffs for thanksgiving, and a sad, little bruised pear that had to come home with me from work due to his imperfections. Basically I realized that this was a slightly extra fancy waldorf salad in the making and it was pretty good despite it's celeryless existence(the poor celery, on thanksgiving day I had to throw away the little puddle that had once been a beautiful bunch of celery. I guess celery doesn't last 6+ months, even in the fridge!)

So, lucky me, I got to eat an entire bowl of sort-of-but-not-entirely waldorf salad and lucky Matthew didn't have to eat any of it =)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

pommies on a shoe...

...because, why not? It seems that's the questions with this year's fashion(or perhaps every year's fashions). Why not cover a boot entirely in thick fur? why not cover items in pom poms? My main problem here is that I'm a total sucker for Pom Poms, just like everybody else. So, as part of my birthday clothes shopping in Tokyo I did pick up a pair of really cheap pom pom shoes. They are so crazily silly and It took several tries before I talked myself into buying them.

Anyway, I totally adore them and really can't wear them because I fall down in even the tiniest of heels and since I work standing on my feet all day they really aren't practical for everyday wear. At least I can play dress-up with them.

Horizontal stripes make my feet look fat. Japan, on the other hand, made my everything look fat =)

Japan, at least with really cheap shoes, seems to have four basic sizes, S, M, L and LL. I seem to wear a M very tightly and an L rather loosely. They don't seem to have the best fit for my feet. that's why I didn't bother with looking for shoes that I would wear all the time, maybe next time. For the time being, I'll just scoot around in my slightly too big Ls feeling very much like I did when I used to find high heels in the Free Box and think they were the best treasure in the world.

Birthday surprises

Before flying off to Japan, I had a birthday and, as often happens, it was another birthday full of sweet and fantastic surprises that remind me over and over again of how much all the people in my life mean to me. I loved all the fun treats that they sent my way, but even more than the fun things, I loved the thoughts and care which I know is sent with each darling item. I will just post a few pictures of the fun things I recieved in the mail, just the things that photograph well. I can't include a photo of the darling sweater that I have secretly been wanting for months, or the little grey scarf that I wore all over Tokyo, or the tiny green notepads set that was so adorable that it actually made me tear up from the utter cuteness of the characters on the little booklets. I'm just not good enough at photographing things to include these things, but I love them all the same.

A little owl towel. Because my mother knows I love dish towels

A whole flock of little owls

One little owl on a green cocktail napkin. Rather cute, I must admit.

A little owl creature. He looks so cute with a candle to light his fat little body.

An extra cutie note book. Hmmm...this birthday, everybody seems to be pushing me to start journaling again.

The best sticky notes ever. And They're Pink!

It's pink! how can I possibly dislike it? but, for the same reason, how can I use it? It's too cute.

I love this pouch. I can not tell you the number of times I've actually reached for these scissors, only to discover that they aren't what they seem. I love the element of shock, every time it happens!

It really was a sweet and wonderful birthday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Baird Beer Taproom

So while shopping on one of the main Harajuku streets, Matthew and I went searching for our pre lunch crepes. The long line of of girls waiting to order at Angel Crepes forced us to pop down a side street looking for a little distraction until the line died down. We found a quiet, comfortable little pub with amazing food and Baird Beers, which Matthew and I have had a couple times before and really enjoyed. All the food dishes were extremely high quality and prepared with care.

This beer roasted pork was amazing, some of the best pork I've eaten

We ordered these little crunchy snacks to go with the pork as an appetizer. They were delicious, filled with roasted chicken and gorgonzola cheese. A bit underwhelming after the incredible pork but still perfectly prepared and balanced.

The little green pickles were house made(as was everything) and tasted delicious. They came with the meal as an extra treat. I always adore any pickle, but these were exceptionally good.

This Beer Curry with chicken was our main dish and despite eating a large quantity of curry on this trip, I enjoyed the unusually spicy(for japanese curry), bitter beer flavors in this curry sauce more than any other curry I've eaten before.

We washed down all of these tasty treats with delicious beer. This beer from the tap was, naturally, better than the couple bottles we'd come across before.

Honestly, the entire experience was delightful and surprising because it was all so unexpected. The entire staff was amazing. Our waitress was so sweet and thoughtful about everything, even speaking a little bit of English to make ordering easier. The most incredible surprise in the whole experience was finding out that the gentleman who ran the pub had just come back from Portland, Oregon where he'd spent days drinking his way around the city. He was really excited to find out that Matthew and I are from Oregon. We enjoyed talking beer with him and finding out about his trip to our home state.

The simple decor gave the entire pub a comfortable atmosphere.

Even the bathroom decor was amazingly simple but attractive. It made me smile.

Truly a great place, good food and friendly people.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Crazy Tokyo Fashion

On one of our many walks through Harajuku(yes, we've been through quite a few times just because it's so fun) I just had to snap a few photos of some of my favorite crazy bits of fashion. Stuff that is just so insanely fun but that I could never pull off, even if I was a little fashionista.

With a name like Candy Strippers you would think that the shop would have some more unusual outfits. In reality, they just have lots of really expensive and silly clothes. These extremely puffy, polka dot boots are a fine example of Candy Stripper's wares.

This is the rather unassuming, very old fashioned Harajuku train station which is directly across from a series of jumping, bright streets filled with clothing shops and big displays. Kind of a fun contrast.

Love! these! boots! Could never wear them but I adore them.

And a hat to go with the boots. Once again, I probably would have a little trouble pulling this off =)

A very odd and slightly disturbing display outside Sevens, a shop which, primarily, sells items for 700 yen.

Really silly pocket in this pair of pants.

My favorite photo. Such sad little cuties at their cannibalistic meal.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

our recent nibbles around tokyo

Over the course of the last week Matthew and I have, for meals, randomly popped into places around Tokyo that look promising. We didn't purchase a meal guide before coming here and I have to admit that the thought of doing a lot of research for our meals sounded like work, along with the fact that most recommended places are expensive. Matthew and I tend to like the very down home, cheap establishments both back home and abroad. To say we've been eating very, very well here in Tokyo (without really trying to) would be an understatement. Finding meals can be frustrating at times because we get rather hungry while wandering the street looking for just the right thing, but it's been a series of wonderful discoveries. I'll post some of the meals in this post and then do a longer post on one of our favorite places separately. Of course, we still have five more days to happily eat our way around the city.

Looks like a plain old salad, doesn't it? But it was amazing and yummy, with very ripe, flavorful tomatoes and a perfect dressing. Very fresh! This was my half salad which I got in The Ladies Lunch Special because I got Strawberry Cake with it. Strawberry Cake!!!

This was Matthew's entree, a Bolognese sandwich. Really strange concept but Matthew said it was actually quite good, if a bit odd. I didn't try it because I kept raving about my salad.

These were the shining star in an already impressive lunch. We loved, loved, loved these fries. They were super skinny and crispy just the way I love fries.

Does this look familiar? can you tell I am slightly obsessed? Just another example of the attention to detail at The Zip Zap cafe on a side street in Harajuku.

This was the beautiful presentation of my strawberry and cream cake. I really loved this cake and, if you know me, you know that half the appeal was the darling little strawberry with his excited, happy face. I think it matched the excitement in my face when I ate the yummery little thing. It was delicious.

Just an example of how presentation and customer service are so impeccable in Tokyo.

I've always adored crepes. Imagine my delight when I found crepe stands all over the city. And these are really good! This was an autumn special of Chesnut creme with whole chestnuts and mille feuille topped with ice cream wrapped in a crepe. Just over the top but so perfect. Not too sweet and so yummy.

On the way to visit a temple and a shrine the other day we stopped for taiyaki. I got the chestnut and Matthew got the sweet potato. I love Japan's fall flavors!

Amazing Ramen from a tiny shop in Akihabara. I Loved this. This was the first time I have had Ramen with really thin noodles and I really did like them. Of course, the real tipping point for me was the fact that I got 1 1/2 eggies in my ramen so it's an automatic win.

Matthew got the same as me but with some extra pork and roasted garlic oil all over the top of the broth. The garlic oil changed the entire ramen but was an really good addition. Matthew couldn't get over how amazing this ramen was and has declared it the best ramen so far.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First images from Tokyo

I only took a few photos yesterday on our walk through Shinjuku, Harajuku and Shibuya. We saw a lot of amazing places but I must admit, I just didn't get a lot of photos taken.

Hachiko the faithful dog.

I always seem to find my mother's name on trips abroad. In Brussels I sought out the Lunette cafe, but here I just happened upon this glasses shop.

Out of the hundreds of crazy outfits I saw yesterday, this couple won the crazy costume contest. He is wearing fleece pants and had on a fleece stole which he is now carrying and she is wearing a skirt made entirely of patches of sweater and trimmed with blue fur. Wow!

Our first takoyaki(also known as searing mouth pain) in Japan. These were delicious.

All gone!

Last night's dinner and my very first bowl of ramen in Japan. Shredded, leeks on top of this miso ramen made it very good but a bit strong in flavor. One of the tastiest bowls of ramen I've ever had.