I've moved!

Hello friends, I've moved! You can read about my life and food adventures here!


miso glazed carrots + honeyed garlic

I've been frequenting the farmers' markets so much lately and figured I was well overdue in my efforts to get creative in the kitchen using the fruits and veggies that are native to Japan; I have been a bit remiss in that department for some time now. Maybe it's the weather that has been making things dark and drab around here - the sun never seems to want to shine anymore. But, fortunately, it wasn't anything a trip to the local farmer's market couldn't help. So I set out to get creative! Oddly enough, it was carrots that inspired me today. They were some of the most beautifully colored carrots I have ever seen. I know that probably seems silly, but their hue was so deep and rich that I just had to pick them up.

It was also kind of a no-brainer when I saw the garlic. Oh, the garlic. It was also beautiful! I immediately thought how wonderful the two would be together. How simple and yet so delicious!

Yesterday I picked up some miso paste at my favorite local organic store. It's fun getting to know the store owners of the places I visit often. I always come in with questions and they're always eager to give me answers.

This recipe is relatively simple. Considering the depth of flavor you would think there is more to it than there actually is. For the miso glaze, I used a white miso, or "shiromiso" - it's flavor is light and mildly sweet. I simply mixed about 2 tablespoons of miso with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of agave nectar, and a teaspoon of soy. Then I added about 1/4 cup of water and mixed it again until it was more of a "glaze" consistency. I poured it over the carrots, threw them in the cast iron skillet with the garlic which I drizzled with honey beforehand and that was it. For my first shot at it and for such an impromptu meal I was more than pleased and can't wait to share it. I only wish I had made twice as much!


homemade guacamole + salsa with chipotle-lime tortilla chips

You may have noticed that my posts as of late have been a bit reminiscent of summer. That's because I am so ready for it! (Although I've heard the humidity on this island can be pretty brutal.) Regardless, I am ready for weekends at the beach soaking up the summer sun and warm ocean water. Oddly enough, Okinawa's weather reminds me a little bit of the Midwest, in the sense that it seems to be a bit bipolar at times. One day it's cold and rainy, the kind of day that makes you want to curl up by the fire with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa. And the next, it feels like it's bikini weather. Of course we don't have the below freezing temps here that always tend to wear out their welcome, but for a tropical island, it can get pretty chilly.

But on the bright side, it's that time of year here on Okinawa that the markets are starting to sport their summer fruits and veggies. And boy oh boy that makes me happy. Berries are actually reasonably priced...well, considering. The cheapest I've seen strawberries here is $3 for a small basket, the most, $7 (the nerve!). Blueberries, raspberries - forget it. I try not to think about the specials back home at Henry's Farmers Market where they sell strawberries for 88¢ sometimes.

And oh the avocados. Guacamole is actually quite big here on the island, so it's not like I have been missing it entirely, but there really is nothing like when it's homemade. That goes for salsa, too. I threw together this homemade salsa last weekend with just three ingredients (tomatoes, onion, and cilantro) and I've been making it almost every other day since. It's that good. Of course I wasn't going to just eat it plain (although I totally could!), so I made some baked chipotle-lime tortilla chips (super easy) and fell immediately in love with the "smoky flavor" they added to my palate.

Speaking of guacamole, there is this amazing burrito truck just down the way from our house, which, ironically enough, the owner lived in San Diego for some time honing his craft at the "california burrito." He did a pretty good job, because you'll never see his truck without a handful of people in front of it. He certainly does make a burrito like no one else on this end of the island. Whenever we go, we always get his mango juice which I always seem to finish before anything else. It's so good. I was beyond happy when I found a delicious mango juice (pretty sure it's the exact same one) at a local market, and spruced it up with some coconut juice and fruit nectar. I think that will need a post all it's own one of these days.


summer berries

I've been wanting to make my own photo background for quite a while now, and had I known how simple it was going to be I would have done it a long time ago. Thank you, Pinterest (you never cease to amaze me). I have a feeling it's going to be somewhat of an addiction of mine from now on. I did this project for $10 and it took me all of 10 minutes to complete. I also picked up a dark brown paint which I will use to color the other side of the boards. I can just imagine how much fun this is going to be...distressing the wood with different color combinations. (Yes, I am a DIY geek - these things really do excite me!) Besides that, I had such a good time with these shots. I always just loved the "rustic" feel of the deeper tones. And this background really made the strawberries pop quite nicely. It definitely has inspired me to start getting more creative with my photography. In the past I always felt limited but these add an entirely new world of possibilities.


Sending a ray of sunshine to my friends and family in the Midwest where it is ever so cold. <3


something sweet

When I decided to move to Okinawa last summer, I wasn't expecting it to be the most romantic place on the map. Oh but it is! The neighborhoods here are not much more than wide alleyways (some are even made of brick or cobblestone) and walking is something that makes sense here. And oh, the charming little restaurants, coffee shops, and bakeries. Even the pubs and bars are something to be fond of. I just about die. Every. time. The people here are also amazing and make it so much more special. I just love soaking every last bit of the day up roaming this beautiful, exotic land. I stumbled upon this amazing little French bakery yesterday as the sun was setting and the weekend neared an end. It was the most pleasant of surprises.


vw luv

Lately I've been on a vintage kick - I love the nostalgia and charm of yesteryear. I've also romanticized the idea of one day traveling the country in an old Volkswagen bus, just like this one...