sweet boule


sweet boule

I still haven’t properly learned to make bread, but after I came back from Japan, I got into a baking craze and tried making sweet boule, a soft bread with a cookie custard on top. I still have a long way to go.




aunt’s bakery

I forgot to remind my aunt I wanted to learn bread making this time, but we still got to eat her bread! This time was anko bread with a little bit of sakura leaf which gave a nice saltiness to the sweet red bean. And a chocolate chip bread!



On our last day in Japan, my mom and I headed into Takamatsu by ourselves taking the train. There’s a local gift shop that seemed perfect for buying gifts that would be different than the usual ones from the airport. We forgot this is the countryside though so the train only comes every 20 minutes! We ended up running to the station and just made it seconds before the doors closed.

It was well worth the trip though since we found good food presents. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best location for lunch since the main shopping area was a little too far to walk through. So we decided to go to Gusto, a family restaurant kind of like Denny’s but with a bigger menu, to eat something small. My mom chose strawberry mascarpone pancake and I went with coffee jelly. It was cheap but way too sweet. I felt nauseous afterwards. But finally my first experience at a family restaurant in Japan!

We realized the train only comes once an hour after noon and hurriedly went back to the train station. And when we got off, we realized Kamado (a wagashi store) would have been a better place for us to have tea…





mentaiko pasta


mentaiko pasta

I actually like pasta but I can’t eat it often because of my stomach. When I do, one of my favorite pasta sauces is mentaiko sauce. It’s a classic Japanese style pasta sauce and very simple to make. As long as you have mentaiko! Or you can always buy the pasta sauce package. But I’m not sure how westerners will take to it though…



grandpa’s garden

mogumogu_052917.jpgMy grandpa has a nice garden in the back of the house where he experiments growing all kinds of fruits and vegetables. When I was little, I wasn’t so interested but as I became an adult, I started to realize the importance of fruit and vegetables. So whenever I visit, it’s exciting to see what can be eaten this time. Also, my grandpa is kind of impatient, so he’s pulling out plants and planting something new pretty often too.

This time, there were strawberries, spinach, and snow peas. Even a few biwa and this weird red thing called gumi (pretty but tasted bad). And the tomatoes and green plums were just starting to ripen. This year there was also zucchini in the summer and the avocado tree has been steadily growing.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a green thumb… my foodie partner and I have killed almost all of our plants… but I hope someday I can grow a small garden like my grandpa.





mogumogu_052817.jpgIt’s been awhile since my last post! I was a bit distracted with some things going on but finally back to eating.

To continue my Japan trip (3 months ago!), during my stay in Kagawa, my aunt took us to a cake shop as always. On our way back from shopping in Takamatsu, we stopped by a shop I hadn’t been to before. My aunt and her husband seem to know all of the cake shops like the back of their hand!

This shop was famous for their roll cake and won an award 2 or 3 years ago. My mom was hoping to eat strawberry shortcake but sadly, it was already sold out. So she went with the house roll cake and I chose the strawberry tart. Later that night, we both enjoyed our cakes while my grandpa watched chuckling as always. I miss how easy it is to find cake in Japan and it’s so much cheaper than Korea…


日本旅行の続き(3ヶ月も前の!)… 香川にいた間、もちろんおばさんがケーキ屋に連れてくれました!高松でショッピングの帰りに行った事のないケーキ屋に寄りました。今回の店はロールケーキが有名みたいで、2〜3年前に賞を獲ってました。お母さんはイチゴショートケーキが食べたかったけど、もう売り切れだったのでロールケーキを選び、私はイチゴタルト。その晩、おじいちゃんがわらない柄、二人で美味しくケーキをいただきました。



mogumogu_052817x.jpgOn the weekend, my aunt and her husband took us out to Takamatsu for some shopping. My mom hoped to find some accessories to wear with her new dress. Unfortunately, after coming from Osaka, the shops were meager in comparison. Instead I bought some local snacks for gifts and ate some yummy gelato. But before all of that, we ate lunch at Kagawa’s famous Ikkaku!

Most people think of udon when they think of Kagawa prefecture. But for locals, Ikkaku – a roasted chicken restaurant, is one of the other famous foods. Even though it’s on the salty side, the chicken comes with cabbage and rice balls. Perfect to dip in the chicken juices! There’s also a chicken broth based soup which feels a bit too much after eating a huge piece of chicken. But if it was a side soup to a traditional Japanese meal, it would be delicious. I wouldn’t be able to eat this often, but if I’m crazy chicken this would be perfect to satisfy.






Lately I’ve been in a baking mode again. I bought a madeleine tray in Tokyo during the winter and decided to finally make use of it. I wish I bought a larger tray though, 6 isn’t enough to do at once! I always heard madeleines are hard to make, but I think using a nonstick pan really helps. The warm water bath is annoying but I think it makes a difference in texture. I recommend mixing in green tea powder and maybe next time I should try soybean… Madeleines really make good small gifts too!



grandma & grandpa’s

mogumogu_052717.jpgAfter a day and half in Osaka, my mom and I headed down to Kagawa to see my grandparents and aunt. Unfortunately, my grandma’s health and memory has been declining but it’s always good to spend time with family. We spent about 5 days helping clean up my grandparents house and hanging out with my grandma.

Although the countryside gets boring fast, one nice is thing is how the neighbors share food and there always seem to be lots of fruit. My grandma’s friend and neighbor gave a couple boxes full of hassaku, a tart slightly large clementine. And as a thank you for the chocolates from the US, the next door neighbor left a melon. My grandpa also grew strawberries which were tiny but still sweet.



grand loft


The day after the closing ceremony, I flew off to Japan to meet my mom in Osaka. After a stressful night of trying to buy a SIM card then contacting my cousin without roaming, my mom and I went out to Umeda and Namba for a full day of shopping. Our main goal was finding a dress for my mom to wear at the wedding and taking care of my gift shopping list.

We first found a beautiful classic dress in Namba for my mom but after taking a look at the price tag, we decided to take the day to think about it. After heading to Umeda, most of our time was spent shopping at Grand Front. I managed to tackle most of my list and finally bought my own clothes too! My mom was exhausted from jet lag though and took a nap while my gifts were being wrapped.

But of course, I need to mention the food. Department food in Japan can be a hit or a miss (minus the basement). Usually, I would err on the side of not so great. But lately, it looks like things are improving especially at the newer department/shopping complexes. We ended up eating lunch, dessert, dinner at Grand Front but everything was delicious. Lunch was a light meal of oden followed by shopping before heading down to take a breath with gelato. I think this gelato was the best I’ve had in Japan! Very thick and creamy. I chose the pistachio and olive oil in a crunchy waffle cone. For dinner, we went to a fish restaurant by Kinki University Marine Research Center. Even though all of the fish is raised by the Research Center, everything was delicious! The highlight was the negi toro. I’m usually not a fan but this was amazing. I felt bad that my dad missed out on this one.

Also, if you go to Grand Front, there is a popular fruit tart store that my cousin recommended. We didn’t have time but it’s top of my list next time I shop in Osaka.

Oh! And my mom’s dress – in the end we chose the one from the first store. It should be a good investment piece for the future too. and mine 😉








mies container

Wow, it’s already been over a month since I finished level 2 of Korean language school. Unfortunately, no big scholarship this time. Apparently I was really close, so I was pretty bummed about it. And my new friend went back to Fukuoka too. But before she left, we hung out one more time after the closing ceremony.

We were debating about what to eat and decided to go somewhere with french fries. I’ve been to Mies Container a couple of times and they have pretty good thin cut french fries. This time we stuck to the plain rather than garlic which can be greasy and too garlicky. We also ordered a cream spaghetti and later garlic bacon pan cheese since my friend thought it wouldn’t be enough food. Boy, do Koreans really love cheese. The cream spaghetti was good but thickly sauced. I was full from that and the french fries, barely touching the pan cheese. It’s really like the name, just cheese and whatever toppings they add. My stomach immediately said “No” after a few bites. Even my friend regretted ordering it.

After my 3rd time coming here, I think I’ll only stick to the fries and MAYBE the pasta salad to share if I’m going to eat a full meal.




eggplant miso & bell pepper


eggplant miso & bell pepper

I HATED eggplant when I was little. But you know how as you get older, your taste buds change? I don’t love it now, but I don’t hate it either. And one eggplant dish I like is a sweet miso based sauce. This is one that I usually make if I buy some eggplant. Even my foodie partner who doesn’t like eggplant will eat it.

One nice thing I like about asian eggplant is that it’s long and thing rather that the fat bulgy ones I used to buy in the US. It does tend to be expensive but there’s a weekly vegetable stall nearby the apartment that sells a bunch for cheap! Oh and I remember when I was little, I didn’t know the english name for eggplant until I was in 3rd grade. I just called it Nasu.