Friday, October 26, 2012

Cooking class #4

I recently attended my 4th Japanese cooking class with our base spouses club.   This was one of the 1st things I did after we arrived in Japan and it's one of the things I will most appreciate when we leave Japan.  I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn to cook some of the food I love to eat.

This time, we made nikujaga which is essentially beef stew with a Japanese flavor sauce instead of beef broth.  I will be making this with chicken very soon.  It's the perfect fall meal.  We also made tuna rice which tasted just like tuna salad without all the mayo, a fried spearfish and something I can't remember the name of but essentially we stuffed cucumber into a steamed fish flavored cake.

getting ready to start chopping veggies for the nikujaga

Adding the sukiyaki sauce that gives this stew a Japanese flavor.  We used store bought sauce but it can be easily made at home with ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen if you cook Asian food regularly: soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar and water.

Annette slicing tofu for our miso soup

a close up of the tuna rice

Michiko working hard 

Could Miyo be any more adorable?!?

Such a yummy snack!  I might try my own version of these, adding some cheese and a drizzle of teriyaki sauce!

Making miso soup, my favorite!

Frying the spearfish.

Time for plating

Everything was so delicious and easy enough to make that I would feel comfortable recreating this meal on my own.

The wonderful red team:
Annette, I cannot remember her name and I feel awful, Toshiko, Nachiko
Me, Eriko, Meggan, Chieko
{Did you notice that all the Japanese names end in -ko?  It's a traditional ending for a girls name in Japan}

Thank you, Kasumi, for sending me the large group photo!

I love these ladies and I will cherish these memories as long as I live!  I would do this every day if it were an option.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tokyo Disney

This week, Jason and I attended our 1st Strong Bonds marriage retreat.  The event was held at the Tokyo Bay Hilton which just happens to be across the street from Tokyo Disneyland.  Since neither Jason nor I had been to Disney EVER, we decided to take advantage of our proximity and spent our free day at the park!  We didn't have the best weather and we're not huge Disney fans but over all we had a great day.  It was strange to hear classic Disney song being sung in Japanese and half the day we had no idea what we were doing.

Here's our day in photos =}

Riding the monorail from our hotel to the park

I spy the castle though the tram window

Halloween decorations

I sure do love this goofball 

Finally parade time and it stopped raining just long enough to snap some photos

We finally made our way around to the castle during another break in the rain

and there was this great view from the castle

I think my favorite part of the day was all the popcorn we ate.  They had souvenir buckets you could purchase and for just 500 yen {about 6USD} you could refill your bucket with a variety of flavors.  We had caramel, chocolate, which I thought I wouldn't like but ended up LOVING, and soy sauce/butter.  We heard there was a curry flavor but we never saw it or we surely would have tried some.