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Showing posts from December, 2009

Tadaima (I`m home)!

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Hi everyone,

A very happy belated MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all!

I just got back to Osaka after a divine 14 days back home in New Zealand.

(Here is me and my family before Christmas lunch!)...


Everyone in Japan is always surprised to hear that we celebrate Christmas during the summertime in New Zealand (like when else are we going to have it??), so I thought I would share some things that make Christmas special for us kiwis.

The New Zealand Christmas tree = the pohutakawa
The New Zealand santa (although a few images of santa feature a shorts-wearing, surfing santa, the one i remember looks similar to santas all over the world).
The New Zealand Christmas sport = beach cricket
The New Zealand Christmas dinner ...

hehe, nah, just kidding. Most people have roast chicken or lamb chops;

The New Zealand Christmas dessert = the pavlova

The New Zealand Christmas holiday home = the bach (pronounced like `batch`)
New Zealand Christmas footwear = jandals
I am off to Yoshi`s family home tomorrow to celebrate New …

Cambodian waffles

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I currently sponsor a child through the World Vision program and get monthly newsletters from the organisation. This month, they included some delicious looking recipes, and I want to share one with you all...

Try it out if you have time (and a waffle iron)!!

Num Poum (Cambodian Waffles)Ingredients1 ½ cups of rice flour (sifted)
½ cup of coconut milk
½ cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of coconut oilMethod
Preheat the waffle iron or griddle to a medium-high heatMix the sifted rice flour, sugar, eggs, coconut milk, coconut oil, and saltBrush the griddle with a little coconut oil and pour batter Cook until brownedServe with other Cambodian favourites such as fried banana, coconut or fresh fruit

Kawaii rice?

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Would you buy rice grown, produced and marketed by these kawaii girls?


Well even if you wouldn`t, there are hundreds of thousands of Japanese people who love this idea.

A young pop-star turned entrepreneur (with her own marketing company named G-rev = gyaru revolution) named Shiho Fujita; famous in Japan for her `Shibuya Girl` appearance, decided to start a rice farm in Ogata (Akita prefecture) and has grabbed a lot of media attention.


Her project is called no-gal / nogyaru (ノギャル), which is a combination of the words `nogyo` (agriculture) and gyaru (girl).

Shiho and her `gyaru` friends appearance has caught the attention of local high school girls."This is totally new. Girls like models are farming,"
said Kana Sato, 18, as she watched them work.Rural areas in Japan have long seen young people fleeing to cities after they reach working age, and the number of young farmers keeps falling with no end in sight. This is one of the reasons some Japanese farmers decided to lease 24 hect…

10 things that make me smile Sunday

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* the lovely sunny view from the train station this morning
* drinking red wine and talking with my best friend T for more than 5 hours last night @ one of our favorite restaurants
* sleeping in til 11am this morning!
* yesterday`s Winter Celebration show at the kindergarten
* making and devouring strawberry jam muffins for brunch this morning
* Yoshi`s family throwing an engagement dinner for us tonight
* Yoshi`s mum`s new adopted kittens, Mel and Ben (she named them after Mercedes Benz)!
* at-home egg white facials
* just 8 days til I fly back home for Christmas
* the Japanese hangover drink Ukon no Chikara (the power of Tumeric)!!!

Who thought of this?

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I love azuki (sweet red beans) and you all know my kitty kat Azuki-kun;

But... I really want to meet the weirdo who came up with this one...

`Suntory’s latest addition to the Pepsi Cola lineup is azuki-flavored cola, Pepsi Azuki, which will go on sale Oct 20. The aroma of azuki has been blended into the original Pepsi flavor. Suntory has been releasing seasonal Pepsis every year, and the theme for 2009 is “wa”. The product is the second seasonal drink this year, following the “shiso”-flavored cola released in summer. Suntory says the product targets consumers in their 20s and 30s and said the azuki flavor blends uniquely with the refreshing tang of the carbonated drink. Priced at 140 yen excluding tax (490ml). The sale will be limited to 200,000 cases (24 bottles/case) and will be sold at supermarkets and convenience stores throughout Japan.`
In case you were wondering, `wa` is all things Japanesey and is as common adjective in word compounds like Washoku (traditional Japanese food), Waf…

Love those happy news stories...

Sometimes I hate reading the news because it always seems so depressing...

But I read this article yesterday that cheered me right up. Have a look -->


TITLE : Wrong number miracle
BY : Eric S Page
Virginia Saenz could hear the desperation in the voice of the telephone message. It was 5 a.m. on the day before Thanksgiving, and the caller, Lucy Crutchfield, was trying to tell her daughter that she'd send money for groceries -- but she'd have to miss a mortgage payment to do it.But Crutchfield dialed the wrong number. Instead of getting her daughter, she got Saenz, a real estate agent from the San Diego suburb of Tierrasanta."I know right now we are all struggling," Saenz said. "Lisa on the phone, she sounded so desperate for her daughter, it broke my heart."Saenz did the only thing she could think of -- she called Crutchfield back and said not to worry. Crutchfield would pay the mortgage, and Saenz would handle the groceries."She said, 'You have the w…