Monday, April 26, 2010

Farewell Parties

The goodbye parties are in full swing. Lots of speeches, crazy drinks, and a mix of emotions. We've had celebrations this past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and were thankful for a bit of a break to finish up packing and do a thorough apartment cleaning before our last party on Wednesday night.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vietnamese Seitan Dip

The full title of this beauty is Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip, from one of my favorite cookbooks, Veganomicon. Seitan, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and a really fantastic dipping sauce combine to make one addicting sandwich! If you'd like to try it for yourself, I found the entire recipe posted here.

Friday, April 16, 2010


We've been trying to pass on remaining odds and ends (like furniture, a space heater, a vacuum etc) to friends and coworkers, and have successfully cleared out almost everything that we need to get rid of. When one of Mike's colleagues came over this week with his wife and new daughter to pick up a few items, they brought sweet treats for us. The one on the left is a strawberry wrapped in mochi and was not only pretty, but tasty too. Thanks to a recent entry by the fabulous Kat over at Our Adventures in Japan, I knew that the one on the right was a Kansai (Western Japan) style sakura mochi. The combination of the salty leaf and sweet bean paste with the mochi was really surprisingly good!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Moving Sale

We're busy sorting and packing, and the same goes for my cards, so it's time for a Moving Sale! Head on over to my shop, songbird notes, and I will match your purchase with an equal number of mystery cards for FREE!! Buy 2 cards and I'll surprise you with an extra 2 cards, buy 4 cards and I'll surprise you with an extra 4 cards!! Don't delay, this offer is only good for one week!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gah 2.0

Back in the fall, I mentioned that my wedding rings were causing my fingers to break out in a red itchy rash. I had hoped that rhodium plating would solve the problem for a couple years at a time, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. It has only been about 4 months (almost to the day!) after getting them plated in the States during the holidays that they've started irritating my fingers again. So at some point in the near future I'm going to have to get a new wedding ring, which is disappointing to say the least.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sayonara Sakura

It is almost the end of cherry blossom season here. Even the slightest breeze has been knocking the remaining petals off in a flurry of pale pink 'snow,' and the constant rain today certainly won't help either. But it has been a beautiful couple of weeks, and we've tried to soak up every last glimpse with walks in the neighborhood, hanami (flower viewing parties), and a final trip to Kyoto this past weekend.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fun Finds

Sometimes it's the little things that are the most exciting. In this case, I'm pretty excited about my recent purchase of an ice ball maker from Muji. Yes, all it does is make a spherical chunk of ice, but think of the possibilities!

I remembered these Halloween ideas I saw on and think I could come up with all sorts of ideas for different holidays. Wouldn't just a few lemon slices or a big fat strawberry suspended in a ball of ice be pretty too?!

(photos from

Monday, April 5, 2010


Before living in Japan we ate rice occasionally,  but it wasn't a huge part of our diet. As you might imagine, that changed after we moved here, and I now wonder how I ever lived without a rice cooker. Since our rice cooker is packed up, I'm finding that I'm craving rice even more (yes, I know, I could cook it on the stove, but I'm lazy, and plus I don't want to buy a big bag of rice when I'm trying to clear out my pantry). So lately we've been picking up tempura vegetables, tsukemono (Japanese pickles), and rice for dinner. In fact, I think I might have to go pick up some more for lunch today...

Sunday, April 4, 2010