Category Archives: Yummy Food & Drink

Beyond Japan… Cooking Edition

Since my trip to Japan (See part one, two, three, four, five)I have really upped my game when it comes to Japanese cooking at home. I used to think it was not possible to cook a lot of Japanese food because I either could not get the ingredients or did not have access to the right cooking equipment. But that is not true and now I really enjoy cooking several things and want to learn how to cook even more!

One thing that helped enormously was finding the Japan Centre (www.japancentre.com). I’ve now both been to the shop and ordered online and it’s fantastic. I try hard to get the Japanese versions of things, rather than English or America versions as I want to be authentic.  Plus the do fun fresh food such as this Hello Kitty bun!

There are two main dishes I feel really good about making and also switching things up with them easily (without a recipe) and they are ramen and okonomiyaki! From the Japan Centre I’ve bought a stock of all the basic ingredients, such as the ramen noodles with stock, the okonomiyaki flour and sauce, mayo, tempura flakes, seaweed, pickled ginger and a few other things that have made it so easy to cook great food.

This is an example of the miso chicken ramen I’ve made. I’ve also made a version with salt stock and soya stock. All are slightly different and worth experimenting with. I’ve also mixed things up using chicken, fish, pork and chorizo. I feel good about whipping a ramen up that I could use up things I have in the fridge and create something yummy.

This is an example of the okonomiyaki I’ve been cooking and it is amazing! I’ve used bacon lardons, porks fillet strips, chorizo and smoked salmon. All of which have been amazing even if not fully authentic, but making it yum was my priority as well as not wasting food.

I have also tried to make noodle soup and yaki soba, but these haven’t turned out quite as I would like so I need a bit more practice.

I am on the search for a Japanese cookbook as I would like to learn how to make other things. I’m not sure which one to get yet though and will continue to look, but if anyone has any recommendations let me know!

Dodo Pad Meal Planning

I’ve been getting back into good habits recently by meal planning and making proper shopping lists and it’s working well. I bought a Dodo Pad last year as I love the structure of it, plus my general love for fun stationary makes this a repeat purchase. It provides pages of of tables with dates and doodle pages for my lists. There is enough boxes for me to put in meals and exercise and also other things that I have going on that I know will impact on my meals or timing.

It feels good to be getting organised again and it’s nice to make the time to do this. Combined with my new delivery service from Mindful Chef (more info on that next week!) it’s feeling really good.

I can also make sure I do my shopping lists when looking at recipes and in my cupboards. This then stays on my kitchen counter for me to look at easily. It also allows me to make changes as required as there as time when we need to be flexible.

However there are also weeks that do not go to plan at all and end up looking like a scribbled mess, but this means I’m using it as I go and partly as a diary/tracker as well as a planning tool.


I find when it comes to eating well I need to be organised and have what I need easily available. This is also really helpful if you want to reduce waste, which I was getting a bit bad with mainly because I was buying too much for one person. Making the time to prepare means I can handle when things need to change. It makes during the week much less stressful and reduces the likelihood of popping to the shop on the way home from work. I’ve tried many ways of doing this and have found that writing it down is the best for me as it seems to stick in my memory much longer than trying to do it on the computer or through an app. You’ve got to find what works for you and then it’s about being disciplined with it. I know I need to do this, so now I am planning in that time each week as an appointment to myself and that is working really well. I’ve done this with my blog post writing as well and it really works for me.

Find what works for you and then discipline yourself to do it. I find motivation is temporary and comes and goes, but discipline builds habits that last.

Simply Cook

I told you this month I found a few things on offer to try out. This one is a box of spices for four different meals a month from Simply Cook. I managed to get the first box for £3 by using a code from Nic’s Nutrition. All future boxes will be £8.99 per month. I have purchased this of my own accord as I wanted a way to cook different meals and re-ignite my enjoyment of cooking and food.

In my first box I have recipes for:

  • Beef Redndang
  • Chinese Spiced Duck Salad
  • Bibimbap
  • Ca Kho To

I’m going to make one a week and make enough for 4 meals. This will give me four night where I don’t have to cook, but I also won’t have to repeat the same recipe again ever if I don’t want to. I’m hoping this will also help me be more economical as I will only by food for what I need, rather than try and guess what I want and end up wasting stuff. I hate it when I find forgotten things in the fridge and end up having throw out the lot. I’ll keep you updated on how I get on.

If you would like to try Simply Cook you can use my 50% off link here:  https://www.simplycook.com/?KW_REF=319650 please note this does give me a free box for each person who signs up – just want to be open and honest with you all!

 

Candy Japan July 2015

In my desire to start travelling again I have decided to stop a few subscriptions to save money. I love getting things each month, but at the same time I actually want to visit places and not just dream of them from afar. As there is a lag between paying for this subscription and receiving the packages I have one more month to go with my Candy Japan boxes!

I have loved these and although I’m not a big fan of sweets (Chocolate yes, jelly sweets not so much). This month was two packages containing so interesting stuff. The first package contained Plum Seed ‘soft’ Candy (LOVED), Shige Kicks Evolution Soda Gummies (Also loved, but have no idea what flavour they were), and Lotte Yokai Bubblegum (okay and haven’t had bubblegum in ages!). I took most to the cinema with me as snacks.

The second parcel contained Meiji Caramel (not sure about these), Lotte Ume and Lemon (liked these simple dummies), and Ultrman Battle Gummies (like normal gummy sweets). I didn’t have anyone to battle with the last ones, but it looked as those it would be fun, but I was again at the cinema with these, so not the best location to battle it out.

I would really recommend this subscription as it is different and fun. I love that it comes in two parcels a month as it means I can spread out my sweet consumption and really enjoy the ones that I have each time. Even though I am sad to stop this subscription I will make up for it when I finally get to visit Japan myself in the next couple of years!

Candy Japan Subscription

After the free box I was sent for review from Candy Japan and which I loved I decided to sign up for my own subscription (paid for myself) and last month received the first two boxes. I find it great that you get two boxes a month as it means I don’t eat it all at once and it’s something to look forward to. The wrapping tape is always fantastic too!

IMG_2166

This was a do it yourself jelly sweet kit. It was a couple of powers, one of which you added water to and then turned the tree through both. It was weird, but fun to try. I don’t think I got the hang of it as the jelly kept falling off in the water powder.
IMG_2167

I followed the instructions on the back from the pictures 🙂

IMG_2169

These were rose flavoured chewy sweets that I was surprised I liked so much. You get quite a few in the bag and they although they are nice I couldn’t have more than a few at a time as they were quite floral and rich, so the bag lasted a week.IMG_2168

The second box consisted of a mix of things for the cinema or a movie night. I seem to have only taken a group shot of these, so apologies for the lack of photos. First up was so toffee popcorn type sweet, which was super yum. Secondly were some sour cola jelly chews which were also quite good. Lastly was a fake ice cream cone with whipped chocolate inside instead of ice cream.IMG_2429.JPG

This was a fab box that I enjoyed and wasn’t too weird, just different from what you can get in the UK. I hope some matcha stuff gets included soon.

I am currently planning a trip to Japan with my family and am super excited and with each box that arrives I get even more excited!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...