Best of 2012

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Happy New Year, everyone! 明けましておめでとうございます!

Since I bought my own domain name, I don’t get WordPress’s year-end stats for my site anymore, so I thought I would round up some of my most popular posts and my goals for next year as a 年末年始 (new year’s holidays; lit. year-end-year-beginning) exercise.

Most Popular Posts

Foodpia 2012 1

“Japanese Street Food and Foodpia Land 2012 (フードピアランド2012)”
Remember that time one of my posts was featured in translation on Searchina’s section on foreign bloggers? And remember how the translator decided I was an illiterate male tourist and was so “moved” by my experiences with Japanese street food? Helpful hint from one translator to another: read the biographical information; contact the author; don’t make assumptions. I really liked this post, but I’m still pretty miffed about the whole experience. Apparently Searchina has done this to other bloggers. Get it together and show some respect.

I'll Make It Myself! Whole-wheat oatmeal sandwich bread dough

Guide to Flour
Home cooks in the US tend to use all-purpose flour for nearly everything baking-wise, but in Japan, cake flour and bread flour are often easier to find. I’m really glad my run-down on types of flour available in Japan proved helpful–I wish I had had this kind of resource when I moved to Japan!

Not my best photographic work or assembly, but behold the okara burger...burger.
Not my best photographic work or assembly, but behold the okara burger…burger.

“Okara Burgers, Two Ways”
Okara: on one hand, this byproduct of tofu production is incredibly cheap and full of fiber; on the other, it has a 1-2 day shelf life and is practically flavorless. I always have trouble using it all up since many recipes call for only a little bit of it at a time, so I like that this recipe calls for 200 grams of it. I should try to write some more okara recipes.

Braised Vegetables with Bamboo

“My Favorite Bamboo-Shoot (Takenoko) Recipes”

I love the variety of edible root vegetables in Japan, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with them other than adding them to miso soup or nabe. I collected some of my favorite from around the web here.

Yogurtland 1

“Partyland (Yogurtland), Osaka”
You wanted to know about where to get tart frozen yogurt in Japan. I do not blame you one bit.

Double batch for a layer cake with cream cheese icing.
Double batch for a layer cake with cream cheese icing.

“Spiced Persimmon Cake
This is one of my favorite recipes, and I’m glad it was popular. It’s perfect for holiday parties and winter birthdays.

Most Popular Search Terms
Wordpress/Jetpack documents search terms (Google, Yahoo, etc.) that lead people to click on my site. Here are the most popular ones of last year:

Goals for 2013

  • get through my backlog of cafe reviews
  • work on resource posts about cooking in Japan
  • improve my photography
  • publish more recipes using okara, fish, Japanese vegetables, and miso

2012 was a bit rough at times, and 2013 is already looking interesting, but if there’s one thing that has grounded me, it’s been cooking and eating well. Foodwise, I finally sorted out a basic miso soup recipe that works for me (I know); came up with two homemade nabe broths I love; put kabocha purée in everything; received a food processor that quickly became my new favorite kitchen item; baked all the bread; and learned how to deal with a turkey in my moven. And I made it through New Year’s break without catching a single thing on fire! (Plus got to eat a lot of great food, both homemade and from restaurants, with my friends.)

What’s on your plate for 2013?

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