Category Archives: Holiday

Christmas Cooking Classes in Yokosuka

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I have four Christmas cooking classes coming up. Sign up at the bottom of the page.

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Christmas Bark

December 5th, 13:00-14:45
Cooking room (調理講習室) on the 5th floor of the Yokosuka Lifelong Learning Center aka. Manabikan
Parking available for 310 yen for 3 hours onsite.
3000 yen per person or parent and child pair

*For safety reasons, only children cooking can attend the class

Gingerbread muffins

Gingerbread Muffins

December 5th, 15:00-16:45
Cooking room (調理講習室) on the 5th floor of the Yokosuka Lifelong Learning Center aka. Manabikan
Parking available for 310 yen for 3 hours onsite.
3000 yen per person or parent and child pair

*For safety reasons, only children cooking can attend the class

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Grinch Cookies

December 12th, 13:00-14:45
Cooking room (調理講習室) on the 5th floor of the Yokosuka Lifelong Learning Center aka. Manabikan
Parking available for 310 yen for 3 hours onsite.
3000 yen per person or parent and child pair

*For safety reasons, only children cooking can attend the class

Christmas cupcakes

Christmas Cupcakes

December 12th, 15:00-16:45
Cooking room (調理講習室) on the 5th floor of the Yokosuka Lifelong Learning Center aka. Manabikan
Parking available for 310 yen for 3 hours onsite.
3000 yen per person or parent and child pair

*For safety reasons, only children cooking can attend the class

 

Sign up here at the bottom of the page.

pumpkin pie kabocha

Repost: Pumpkin pie made with kabocha

pumpkin pie kabochaI’ve been meaning to repost this for a long time but I didn’t have a decent picture. The recipe is buried in a Thanksgiving roundup post from 2009. That is quite some time ago. I had my Christmas dinner on the 23rd here and actually remembered to take a picture.

Pumpkin Pie

Alannah Leah (My grandmother)
Makes enough for two pies that are the size of a small oven plate in Japan

1/2 – 3/4c brown sugar (I use 1/2)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 1/4 cup pureed cooked kabocha

1/3 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water (optional – I usually don’t add it)

2 well beaten eggs

1 cup canned milk or fresh cream

Mix sugar and spices, then add pumpkin followed by liquid.  Whisk together until smooth.  Bake in your favorite pie crust for ten minutes at 220C and then turn the oven down to 160C and bake for 40-60 minutes more.  Cool before serving.

Note: The following day I baked the leftover pie filling in a silicon cake mold and it was brilliant – no crust needed.

Note: All you need to do to make kabocha puree is to boil it and then puree or mash it. I usually leave the skin on but that is a matter of personal choice. the color is prettier if you take the skin off.

Easy Pie Crust

Can’t remember where I found this
*use a 250mL cup and you have enough for two small pies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.  Place all the ingredients into your pie pan and mix with a fork.  Pat the mixture up the bottoms and sides of the pan.  Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven or until light brown.  I sometimes don’t pre-bake it because it sometimes burns.

Gingerbread muffins

Gingerbread Muffins

Gingerbread muffinsIt’s winter and thus is time for gingerbread muffins. They are a great breakfast food, lunch food, dinner food or snack.

Gingerbread Muffins

*uses 200mL cups

1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 cup butter (I used vegetable oil once and they were fine)
1 egg
1 cup molasses (I use half molasses and half honey or corn syrup)
1 cup hot water
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves (I usually skip this)

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the egg and then stir in the molasses. Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the large bowl and fold in. Add the hot water at the end. I usually use a whisk when I add the water. Bake for about 20min at 180C or 350F.

 

In case you are lusting after the lego mug in the background, you can get it here from ThinkGeek.

 

Where to get molasses (モラセス morasesu):

  • Amazon Japan
  • Rakuten
  • Kaldi Coffee sometimes has it
  • Some upscale supermarkets carry it
  • National Azabu and Nissen in Tokyo

 

gingerbread men cookie class

Gingerbread Cookie Class

gingerbread men cookie class

My second class on December 20th will be a gingerbread cookie class. This is also family friendly, like the chocolate snowflake cupcake class.

Gingerbread Cookie Class

Dec 20th, 3-4:30pm
At Serendipity Cafe, Chigasaki
3000 yen for 12, 4000 yen for 24
*pricing is by number of cupcakes, not person so feel free to come as a family or with a friend

To sign up, click here.

chocolate snowflake cupcake class

Chocolate Snowflake Cupcake Class

chocolate snowflake cupcake classI have two classes coming up on December 20th at Serendipity Cafe. The first is chocolate snowflake cupcakes. This will be a family friendly event and pricing will be number of cupcakes made/decorated per group. Please feel free to sign up with a friend or as a family.

Chocolate Snowflake Cupcake Class

December 20th, 1-2:30pm
At Serendipity Cafe, Chigasaki
3000 yen for six, 4000 yen for twelve

*pricing is by number of cupcakes, not person so feel free to come as a family or with a friend

To sign up, click here.

 

Chocolate Easter Egg Class

homemade-chocolate-easter-eggs-japanOne of the biggest hardships of living in Japan is the complete and utter lack of Cadbury Cream Eggs. I kid you not. Getting one or two in the mail from a family member is a big deal. This year I finally gave a homemade version a shot and was very pleased with the results. By pleased, I mean I ate the entire batch within 24 hours… It’s time to spread the love in the form of a Easter egg cooking class.

This will be a family affair. The definition of family also includes friends (no more than two adults please). Each family will make the same amount of eggs so you can divide them as you wish. Continue reading Chocolate Easter Egg Class

Pi Day 2014

I almost didn’t celebrate Pi Day this year. This morning I was supposed to be at a graduation ceremony at my son’s school but he’s home with the flu. I ended up making some festive goodies.

Tourtière using this pie crust. Changes: 5/8 white flour and 3/8 a mix of rice and whole wheat flours.

pi-day-2014Cookies using this recipe. Change: reduced sugar to 1/2 cup.

pi-day-cookie-2014

 

Did you make anything special for Pi Day?

If you haven’t signed up yet, head here to join my email newsletter. You will get recipes I haven’t shared here on the blog and advanced notice about upcoming cooking classes.

 

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Cupcake afternoon

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I had a great time at my cupcake event on Sunday. The kids had a great time – especially when decorating. They unleashed their creative sides, as you can see from the pictures above. Most of those were done by the children. I showed them print outs of a couple of designs like a Santa hat, a snowman and a Christmas tree, and then let them go free.

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This is the most notable design, done by a girl who looked no more than eight.

The mothers requested I do more events in the future so it looks like there will be more family events on the horizon.

If you haven’t signed up yet, head here to join my email newsletter. You will get recipes I haven’t shared here on the blog and advanced notice about upcoming cooking classes.

I’d love to hear from you. What kind of classes would you like to see me put on? Please leave a comment below with your suggestion.

turkey-in-japan

Repost: How to find a turkey in Japan

turkey-in-japan

American Thanksgiving is next week and Christmas is in a month so I thought I would repost this information from last year for my new readers.

—Edited repost begins here

For the first couple of Thanksgivings and Christmases it didn’t even occur to me to miss turkey. All of a sudden, about a week before my third Christmas here, I felt I had to roast a turkey. Since rarely went out of my way to get food that wasn’t sold in the local supermarket, I had no idea where to look. I was in Shinjuku that evening so I decided to pop into the basement of Isetan and check out the meat shop. I was lucky. They happened to have these tiny one and two kilogram turkeys for 3500 yen and 5000 yen respectively. They were imported from France. Not knowing where else to look, I bought one of the little ones and took it home. It was the best turkey I had ever had and worth the price. Thanksgiving the next year was a bit more of a challenge because while turkeys aren’t hard to find around American Thanksgiving Day in November, Canadian Thanksgiving Day is a full month earlier. Luckily Nissin had one the right size.

The next Christmas I happened upon one in the supermarket in the Meguro station the day before I was going to go off in search of one. Lucky. Eventually I learned about The Meat Guy and that solved all of my problems. You can order a couple months in advance and have it delivered the day you would have taken it out of the freezer so you don’t have to worry about freezer space.

The second easiest option is to ask at your local supermarket. They might be able to order one for you. This will likely have to be done in Japanese but at least you won’t have to travel far if you don’t want to pay for shipping.

Where to find turkeys in Tokyo

  • Nissin has turkeys year round from 3-4lbs to the huge 20+lbs
  • National Azabu had turkeys before it shut down. They should have them again now.
  • Meat counters of large upscale department stores – only around Christmas
  • Some upscale supermarkets will carry them at Christmas time – ask at the meat department.
  • A friend buys her Christmas turkey from her local Hanamasa (website: Japanese language only) but I have never seen one at the ones I’ve visited so you would have to ask. Ask for ターキー(taakii) not 七面鳥 (shichimenchou) as many people associate the roasted bird with the English word and the live bird in the wild with the Japanese word.
  • Costco – you can actually call and ask them before you make the trip out (they won’t tell you the price but will tell you if they have something)

How to find a turkey on the internet in Japan

Note: if you have an average (read tiny) sized microwave/oven you will probably want to go for a 1-2kg bird but be sure to measure the inside of your oven to check. I now have a 30L oven and find a 5kg is a great size.

If you haven’t signed up yet, head here to join my email newsletter. You will get recipes I haven’t shared here on the blog and advanced notice about upcoming cooking classes.

christmas-cookie-workshop-japan

Christmas Workshops in Chigasaki

I logged into Facebook yesterday to discover two Christmas workshops, in addition to my own, happening right near my old house in Chigasaki.

First up, as a reminder, my Christmas Cupcake Family Afternoon on December 1st at Serendipity Cafe. (Japanese details on their site). If you would like to join, please head here to the Facebook event and RSVP. Maximum of six families. As of right now there is only one spot left.Christmas-cupcake-workshop-japan

Second up is a Christmas Cooking decorating workshop at Serendipity Cafe on December 5th and 7th. For more information, comment on their blog post in the link above.Christmas-cookie-decorating-workshop-japan

And third up is a Balloon Christmas tree workshop at Bunchkins English Playroom on December 4th. What a creative way to use balloons. Contact the email address in the picture below for more information.

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