2014 Pumpkin Beer Masterlist

This year’s winner: Elysian’s Punkuccino. I was a little skeptical of a coffee-chocolate-pumpkin beer, but the flavors are perfectly balanced–a molasses-malt head, rich pumpkin, coffee, and stout with a little sweetness.   I got to try a lot of these at the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival–highly recommend the event. Special thanks to my family in…

Marketing Halloween in Japan 2014: KFC Halloween Bucket

It’s that time again! As I’ve written before, Halloween has exploded into the Japanese food scene. Ten years ago, there were–as to be expected–barely any Halloween specials or goods. An increasingly large cultural shift toward Halloween as popular (children’s) holiday began sometime around 2010. While some of the shift was motivated by consumer demand, the ramped up…

Fig-Almond Muffins (Dairy-Free)

More muffins! These fig-almond muffins are perfect for autumn. If you’re looking for a break from all the cinnamon and pumpkin products, try one of these!

The Rosette of Versailles: Apple Custard Tart with Walnut Crust

I offered to bring tarts to a dear friend’s family Thanksgiving and found this recipe as I was considering my repertoire. Also, geeky-dessert talk: I’m a huge fan of Ikeda Riyoko’s The Rose of Versailles (Beru Bara) fan*, so how could I pass up the tarte bouquet de roses? This tart looks and tastes elegant: the freshness…

Japan-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

Hosting two Thanksgivings in Japan taught me to love the holiday and its food again. My friends are amazing cooks, and the sheer sense of community, of getting together to remake a tradition in our own way really made the holiday feel special. Last year, I did a recipe-roundup of our meal. This year, I’d like to…

Halloween 2013: Lupicia Tea

Lupicia is one of the Japanese companies that has really embraced Halloween marketing and does it incredibly well.

Vegetarian Curry Nabe

Curry nabe is combination of two of Japan’s great comfort foods: curry-rice (karê raisu, カレーライス) and nabe (鍋). Curry-rice is a Japanized version of Indian curries via Britain: served with rice, this dish is a thick, brown sauce, more sweet than spicy, combined with onions, carrots, potatoes, and chicken or beef, which are sauteed before…

Whole-Wheat Ginger-Squash Muffins with Chocolate Chips

One last(?) squash purée recipe for the season! I live in a country where the only cold cereals available at regular grocery stores (Tokyo Metro, you don’t count) are frosted flakes and cocoa puffs.*  As a result, I’ve learned to make a variety of breakfast foods. I’m actually not sure how I only ended up…

The Word of the Day is Spatchcock: Thanksgiving 2012

“I’m going to spatchcock the turkey.” “Excuse me?” “If I spatchcock the turkey–WHY ARE YOU BLUSHING?” “So, I’ve decided to spatchcock the turkey.” “Is that some sort of fandom thing about Benedict Cumberbatch?”   Despite its unfortunate name, spatchcocking is simply a way of butterflying a turkey so it will cook faster; it does not,…

Thanksgiving Recipe Round-up

On my first Thanksgiving in Japan as an exchange student, I had cold tofu for lunch and felt exceptionally sad. After two years of not celebrating the holiday while I was in rural Japan, I decided to host a Thanksgiving potluck for my friends last year, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve…

Kabocha Hummus

On the themes of both autumn and non-chickpea hummus-adjacent spreads, I present kabocha hummus, one of the many fine uses for kabocha purée. As I stated in my baba ghanoush recipe, chickpeas/garbanzo beans (Japanese: hiyokomame, ひよこ豆) are relatively expensive in Japan, so I’ve been trying to less expensive chickpea alternatives. If chickpeas are cheap where…

Kitchen Library– 10.29.2012

Thanks to Jessica Goodfellow of Axis of Abraxis and Ashley of Surviving in Japan for featuring my kabocha purée recipe on their sites!