Everyday Cupcakes

CupcakeLemon

From the time my girls were little, I used to bake these versatile cupcakes, adding chocolate or lemon zest or apples and cinnamon. The kids loved them even un-iced! They are so easy as you only need one bowl and very basic ingredients. Use either butter or margarine and just one egg to make 12-16 cupcakes!

 

 

 

100g. margarine

1 cup sugar  (180-200g)

2   1/2 Teas Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 whole egg

1   3/4 cups regular flour  (210g)

180-200 cc milk

Cream butter and sugar. Gradually add slightly beaten egg. Mix flour with B.P. and salt. Alternately stir in dry ingredients and milk. Fill cupcake papers half-full. Add either vanilla essence or lemon.( For chocolate, melt 3 Tbsp butter and add 7 T cocoa. mix. Stir into batter.)

Preheat oven. Bake at 375F (190C) for 15-20 minutes. Cool well before icing.CookingCUpcakes

A Old-time Cookbook

I was looking for a recipe I posted several years ago and found some smart lady had put all of the great recipes on Thingaday into one nice “cookbook” for us. I had made many recipes from the  American Heritage Cookbook. One of my favorites was  Mormon Spit Pea Soup which has meatballs and potatoes and is a main dish in itself.

MormonSplitPea

Mormon Split Pea Soup

We recently met a man who traps and butchers deer and wild boar and he has given us lots of delicious meat. The Thingaday Cookbook is a good reference so I want to tag it to my blog! You can find hte recipe for Barbecued Venison, which is actually cooked in a pot!

Venison

BBQ Venison

I want to make the Creole Gumbo again! Ane Prune Bread! Lots of good recipes on this site!!

Prune Bread

Prune Bread

Here is the deerslayer on the far right! Mr. Nakabepu! He also has six goats,100 chickens and 600 blueberry trees.

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Yoko is holding an egg from one of his “arokana” chickens!

We were thrilled to make friends with this interesting guy and it happens that he speaks English quite well…and took part in our English Bible class last week!! We all had a great time!

Check it out!

Take Off the Chill

It has been cold here this winter. Yesterday sleet was falling but we haven’t had real snow on the ground to speak of. Still, Japanese houses don’t have central heating and it is always cold at home!

Happy New Year! At the temple

Happy New Year! At the temple

As you know it is the custom to visit the shrine on New Year’s Day to pray for good fortune in the new year. This Year we visited Gangoji      元興寺 shrine in Kazuhaya, Akitsu.

Gankoji Shrine

Gankoji Shrine

Praying for good fortune this year!

Praying for good fortune this year!

One way to warm up is with a steaming bowl of Scotch Broth! I have been making many soups recently,but I really like this one. With chunks of beef and bits of barley, it is a hearty soup. I’m trying to diet again and recently I just have a big mug of soup for breakfast! Surprisingly, it tides me over until lunch time!

Hearty Scotch Broth

Hearty Scotch Broth

Definitely try this recipe! And maybe some homemade bread or some fresh French bread from the bakery section! It makes a meal!

Lacquered box of traditional foods

Lacquered box of traditional foods

Lucky soba"toshikoshi" noodles (buckwheat)

Lucky soba”toshikoshi” noodles (buckwheat)

If you didn’t see my Facebook page, this is our New Year’s tiered box of food to be eaten on January first and second. We also eat the soba on New Year’s eve as it means long life (long noodles.)

Early AM at he supermarket

Early AM at he supermarket

Magazines from 1978?

Magazines from 1978?

We went shopping at year’s end and they often have “used books” on sale at the department stores. I found several old magazines I thought were interesting!

Hope you draw a good one!

Hope you draw a good one!

 

We played Scrabble every day during the holidays, which made me very happy!

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It was certainly cold at the farm, but we enjoyed the 5 nights we stayed there! Most of the time I was cooking! Here are sweet potatoes glace with chestnuts! It’s really good but fattening! Oh, dear!

Hope this will be a Happy New Year for you all.

 

Sumiko Takes a Trip

Itoh Mama visited me  for three days and 2 nights. We had so much fun as always. We made sekihan with chestnuts together. We also sewed mufflers out of an old kimono ( or haori)!Then we started knitting caps!

Old friends forever

Old friends forever

On Wednesday, Margaret came over and they sang hymns, and played other songs on the recorder and piano.

Nice harmony!

Nice harmony!

The next day, we spent all day at the sewing machine. We enjoyed dinner and talking until midnight in the kotatsu!!

We did a lot together in 2 and a half days. Never a dull moment!

Always good for a laugh! Knitting in the kotatsu!

Always good for a laugh! Knitting in the kotatsu!

Look what we made!

Mufflers made from an old haori jacket

Mufflers made from an old haori jacket

But we really enjoyed the good sermon we listened to on Thursday AM. It was from Colossians 2. We sang some of our favorite old hymns too. And encouraged one another in prayer!

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Thanks for the teapot!

Eating Nan for the first time! With all vegetarian curry!

Thank you, Itoh Mama!!

 

It is such a joy to have a friend like you!!

Spicy Mexican Rice

Spicy Mexican Rice

Homemade Miso

 

Tezukuri Miso!

Tezukuri Miso!

I just made miso yesterday and I put the recipe here! This is so good! It takes a good half a day to make but it is worth the time and effort and this recipe has never failed to turn out well! Be sure to have some ethanol to wipe down all your bowls, ladles and containers to prevent harmful bacteria from growing.

 

Naturally fermented foods are so good for us! Sourdough Bread, yogurt, natto (fermented soybeans) are all fermented food products!

Ingedients

Ingedients

This is all you need! And sake kasu!

Best Granola

This recipe is courtesy of Seiko-san! I love it as granola is very expensive to buy here in Japan.

Homemade granola!

Homemade granola!

Here’s how to make it:

Mix the dry in a bowl:

2 cups oatmeal

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

cinnamon ( a little!)

Stir together, then drizzle over the dry:

2-3 Tbsp maple syrup

3 Tbsp grapeseed oil (I used olive oil,any oil is fine!)

Last,stir in any chopped nuts, slivered almonds, coconut or whatever you like! (Don’t put fruit in yet!)

Mix all the dry, then stir in syrup and oil!

Mix all the dry, then stir in syrup and oil!

Bake in a 300F oven (150C) for 40 minutes, turning with a metal spatula once or twice. Let cool ,then add raisins, dried cranberries!

This keeps in a ziplock bag for a month or more!!

Getting Out of the Funk

My dictionary defines funk as ” a dejected mood” or depression. Maybe what I have is more like a case of the blahs! Too much food and no exercise over the holidays didn’t help. With all the cold weather, I tended to stay indoors and didn’t do much besides cook or watch TV.

This week Hiroo is at the farm so I finally got out my sewing machine and made an ironing board cover! What should I make now?! I still have all day today and half of tomorrow alone!

New cover!

New cover!

Two weeks ago I made a new friend! We have lived two blocks down from one another for 10 years but never met.  She is teaching me ot knit a stocking cap. She is cheerful, cute and clever! It’s so nice to have a friend in the neighborhood!

New friend !just down the block!!

New friend !just down the block!!

This is the cap I’m knitting! It’s easy and fun! Never mind that I never wear caps! The yarn is a lovely multi-color wool with mohair!

Nice yarn with mohair!

Nice yarn with mohair!

Yesterday I went to see a movie called Son of God with some friends at the brand new Salon Cinema downtown. I enjoyed the movie more than I expected. The theater was very nice. There is a snack bar in the lobby that even sells wine and mixed nuts! Caricatures of famous stars in well-known roles are painted around the ceiling.

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JanuaryEnd 009Here’s a view inside. The last row has Japanese-style “za-isu” seats!

Girlfriends enjoy a movie together!

Girlfriends enjoy a movie together!

I met this cute young woman and enjoyed talking with her. She even shared her snack with me!!

Cute young woman who shared her snack with me!!

Cute young woman who shared her snack with me!!

After all the best part of getting out and doing things is that You meet a lot of people! 

The best way to get over the blahs is to be out with people, don’t  you agree?

Every year I set a a goal for how many books I’ll read. Last year I reached my goal of 75 books. But I didn’t seriously read the Bible. So this year I will set no goal for reading, but instead I want to spend time slowly reading and absorbing the Bible.

Bible

Just like all our devices that need to be plugged in and recharged,we also need to connect to our source of power every day. Recently I have met several women who have serious problems: one with brain cancer, another with a son in deteriorating health and a lady in the middle of divorce. What can I do for them? I feel so helpless. Of course, listening may be the most important thing.

Still any words of comfort or encouragement seem so empty and ineffectual. That makes me aware that I need to plug in to the word of God, my power source, so I can let God touch them through me.  I really feel so inadequate, but I know and affirm that “All things are possible with God.”

Last of all, I’d like to share a favorite passage from Psalms 37

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give  you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way unto the Lord;  trust in him and he will bring it to pass.

It’s noon now so I still have time too go and do something constructive! OK! I’m going to get going!! Have a great day!

 

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