August 31, 2013

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

Hi all!  I've been making some yummy things these days.

First did I ever tell you about the artichoke?

Over a year in Japan and no artichokes to be found and finally one day by chance I stumbled upon one.  I bought it even though it was ¥300.  :/  It was delicious though.  I miss artichokes.  I could maybe try to grow my own.  We'll see.

I made some tasty chickpea salad:

Pretty much anything with dill is a winner in my opinion.

I made a goat cheese pasta:

Garlicky, spicy and delicious!

I whipped up some super easy pasta sauce:

Oh my was this good.  There's not a huge selection of bottled pasta sauces here.  I don't buy them anyway so I'm thinking this will be my go-to sauce.

Finally, my wonderful boyfriend made this huge okonomiyaki for me:

He made one side with gouda and the other with mozzarella.  I preferred the gouda side.  It was so good!

I'm sure you'll notice that there's not many Adventures in Dining these days.  Well it's because I'm broke.  Vacation will do that to you.  Hopefully, I'll get try some great places to eat soon.

August 30, 2013

Tales from The LG 12th Floor Garden...

Not all news is good news.

Happy (?) gardening.

Lipton Tea...

Hi all!  I have some new teas for you.

First, from the Tea's Travel series is Thailand Lychee Tea:

I guess it's good if you like lychee.  (I'm still on the fence about it).  This tea was a bit bitter for my tastes.

Next is Sweetened Condensed Milk Tea.  No I'm not kidding.  That is really the flavor.

Well, the verdict is, it's not the worst tea I've ever tasted.  Then again, it's not the best tea either.  If you try it, you tell me what you think.  The funny thing is is that sweetened condensed milk isn't a huge thing here.  Am I wrong?  Is it really a mega thing?  I've only seen it at a few stores.  I'm always on the lookout because some day I want to try the Pinterest caramel (or dulce de leche for all those purists out there).

The list:
  1. Milk Tea
  2. Maple Milk Tea
  3. Lemon Tea
  4. Peach Tea
  5. Earl Grey Milk Tea
  6. Green Apple Tea
  7. 50/50 Tea & Lemonade
  8. Tropical Fruit Tea
  9. Chamomile Citrus Tea
  10. Roast Milk Tea
  11. Jasmine Lemon Peel
  12. Grape Tea
  13. Straight Tea
  14. Apple Tea
  15. 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
  16. Matcha Milk
  17. Tea Cappuccino
  18. Mikan Tea
  19. 50/50 Tea & Nectar
  20. Luxurious Milk Tea
  21. Muscat Tea
  22. Plum Honey
  23. Cream Milk Tea 
  24. Grapefruit Tea
  25. Orange Marmalade Tea 
  26. Royal Milk Tea
  27. Golden Pineapple Tea
  28. Italian Fruit Punch Tea
  29. Honey Milk Tea
  30. Green Apple with Honey
  31. Thailand Lychee Tea
  32. Sweetened Condensed Milk Tea
The Top Five:
  1. OG Milk Tea
  2. 50/50 Tea Lemonade
  3. 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
  4. 50/50 Tea & Nectar
  5. Jasmine Lemon Peel

August 25, 2013

Summer's end...

Well, as of today summer is officially over (for me anyway).  No more vacation.  It's back to work.  It's still really hot though.  I can't wait until fall when the humidity won't kill you.

Anyway, here's the rest of my summer wear.

August 6th:

Not my favorite outfit but hey it's cool (temperature wise).  Shirt Treasure Factory Style, shorts Wal-Mart, shoes Chiyoda.

August 9th:

Tank Uniqlo, shorts Wal-Mart, shoes Chiyoda.

August 13th:

Jacket Uniqlo, tank Forever 21, shorts Goodwill, shoes Chiyoda.

August 17th:

Dress & sweater Uniqlo, shoes Fiorucci.

I hope you had a lovely summer and that it wasn't too short.

August 24, 2013

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

Hi all!  I've made some yummy things lately that I want to share with you (a lot of which revolve around buffalo sauce and goat cheese for some reason). 

Here's some jalapeno poppers:

By the way I use goat cheese instead of cream cheese.  OMG miles better.

I made some homemade applesauce:

I only used 1/8 c of sugar but it was still really sweet but worlds better than anything in a jar (which I've never seen here anyway).  I think I just bought the sweetest apples ever.

I made another salad from the list:

It was quite tasty.

I also made my favorite sandwich ever:

It's basically just fry up some potato slices, top with what you see there and drizzle some balsamic over it.  Unbelievably delicious.  I got this recipe like 100 years ago on PBS.  This was (I think) before everything became accessible on the internets as I wrote it down in pencil.  I've been making it ever since.  I totally recommend this sandwich.  (If you use vegan may, this sando can be vegan.)

I made some buffalo quinoa:

Sans chicken of course.  I made this with generic Frank's so it's not quite as good as it could be.  I can get Frank's Hot Sauce here (which is the best hot sauce btw) but I have to go far to get it so I don't always have it.

I made a yummy wrapwich:

So good. 

And finally some buffalo goat cheese:

Could you just die.  (I just realized that both buffalo recipes are from the same site.  I guess that chick likes buffalo sauce as much as I do.)

I feel like the worst person ever living in Japan hardly ever making any Japanese food.  In my defense I don't have a rice cooker so I can't make rice all the time.  Also, a lot of Japanese food isn't vegetarian and I guess I've just been doing this so long (cooking for myself) that I stick to what I know. 

Anyway, I hope you find something you like in there.  Happy eating!

August 23, 2013

Tales from The LG 12th Floor Garden...

Well, today is a good day!  Not only did we get to leave early from work but when I came home I discovered:

Both my lettuces have sprouted!  If I remember correctly, I believe the top one is butter lettuce.  I'm so excited!  Grow into giant plants so I can eat you!  Mmm...butter lettuce.

In other gardening news I started regrowing romaine again.  This time away from the (heat of the) window as last time they molded.

Quite light these ones.

I planted beets.  Delicious beets.

I uprooted the radishes which had been in bad shape for some time but I had refused to believe it.  I'll try again in when it cools down.

Finally, I welcomed some new plants into my garden:

(We just had a healthy downpour here.)  The circumstances by which I acquired these plants are not happy ones (that information doesn't belong on this blog) but I couldn't just let them die.  The top ones are green pepper which I am not the biggest fan of raw but I thought I could make some killer spaghetti sauce if they do grow peppers.  The eggplant isn't in the best shape.  I'm not sure if it will live.  Later, I'm going to read up on caring for sad eggplant.  We'll see what happens.

That's all the news from the 12th floor.  Happy gardening!

August 21, 2013

Tales from The LG 12th Floor Garden...

Blog has been quiet I know.  Well, it's because I've been on vacation!  (And even though it doesn't particularly pertain to Japan, I'll blog about it later anyway.)

I'm happy to report that bagging the plants (thereby creating each plant its own miniature greenhouse) was 90% successful!  Unfortunately, I lost the snap peas which is a real shame because I love those vegetables.  It may have just gotten too hot, no way to be certain what happened.  Anyway, when I opened the bag they had turned a hideous yellow and the soil smelled horrid.  The red romaine was a little wilty but it's still alive and kicking.  The plants that weren't bagged (because they were too big) obviously dried out and were a bit droopy but as soon as I watered them, they perked right back up.

So hear this people!  If you're going on vacation and you don't want your plants to die, bag 'em!

As I was not in the best shape Monday I didn't do anything.

Yesterday was a different story.  First, I returned all plants I was babysitting back to their rightful home thus freeing up a tremendous amount of space in the garden.  I then had to clean the balcony which was a disaster.  After the balcony was beautified, I planted red and yellow peppers in the same container as yellow mini tomatoes.

Obviously they haven't sprouted yet because I just planted them but hopefully soon!

I also planted some jalapeños.

I can't wait until those grow!

Today I planted romaine and butter lettuce. 

Talk about anticipation.  I've never seen butter lettuce in the store here and I love butter lettuce.  I threw a ton of seeds in there so some are bound to grow.

I know this isn't a very exciting post but hopefully I'll have sprout news for you soon.  Happy gardening!

August 13, 2013

Tales from The LG 12th Floor Garden...

Well things haven't been so peachy these days.  Had some really high temperatures and I lost two plants.  The cilantro and the cranberry plant died.  I also lost one bean plant (three remaining).  :( 

Aside from that everything is growing well and bigger each day.  The blueberry even sprouted some new leaves.

Also, look at the mint's progress:

I recently pinched the top so it would grow out.

In other news I am going on vacation soon.  I won't be gone long but I don't want my plants to die.  The internet has many solutions for keeping plants alive.  So far only one has been successful.  The create-a-greenhouse method.  Basically, you wrap your plants in a plastic bag which acts like a green house.  Water condenses inside the bag which keeps your plant from drying out.


The plant on the left has been wrapped for almost 3 days now.  I haven't watered it since it's been in there and the soil is still damp.  I count that a success.

I just wrapped this today:

It's not sealed as tightly as the above two plants so hopefully it will work.

Both plants I wrapped this morning have a nice layer of condensation.  Excellent.

This is a huge weight off my shoulders and now I feel like I can enjoy my vacation without worrying if my plants will die.

That's all the news that's fit to report.  Happy gardening!

August 12, 2013

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

Hi all!  How's the weather where you are?  It's hot and humid here but we still gotta eat right?

I'm still working my way through this list:

I also made a bomb ass Cobb salad:

And two smoothies.  First is Strawberries & Cream:

Apple Pie:

Both were yummy but I changed the apple one a bit.  I omitted the almonds because I didn't like the texture and I also substituted almond milk for regular milk.

In recent news Vanilla Coke appeared in Japan (a bit behind the American scheduled release 2002/2007):

I think it tastes like the American version but I can't remember.

In Adventures in Dining I took a trip down memory lane and ate at Sizzler:

OMG they have a nacho bar!

Caramel Apple Sundae made by me.  Comes with a cream puff!

Actually, I quite enjoyed it but my favorite part was definitely the nacho/taco bar.

I had breakfast at Ikea:

I gave Island Veggie a try:

Tasty veggie burgers!  I had the Avocado Loco Burger.

I had some Eggs Benedict at Slappycakes:

We took a trip to Costco Tsukuba so I could score some of these bad boys:

Finally Japan has Cheerios and Honey Nut too!

I couldn't leave without a Chocolate Raspberry Sundae:

And if this blog didn't make you happy, here's a picture of broccoli that looks like a tree:

Happy eating!

August 6, 2013


Summertime in Japan means humidity, bug catching and fireworks or 花火。

I attended two fantastical firework displays in Tokyo, Adachi-ku (I also went last year) and Edogawa-ku (first time).

Here are some of my favorite photos from the events.




(Note: All photos unedited.)  I hope you're enjoying some fireworks somewhere.  It certainly makes summer just a little bit better.