Chai Popsicles

chai pops oceanWe are in the midst of a move from Okinawa to Iwakuni. The kitchen isn’t quite set up and we’re still waiting for the bulk of our household items to arrive. I’m looking forward to expanding my wardrobe outside of this suitcase.  Three pairs of pants…what was I thinking? I would also really like to sit at my desk to write. It’s the middle of summer, but I’m not complaining. I’ve got all the windows open and the ocean breeze is blowing. I’d like something to cool me down while I set up the house. Lucky for me, the rarely used, but always appreciated Popsicle molds ended up in our quick shipment. Sweet! Continue reading

Japanese Purple Carrot Soup

purple carrot soup bowl

I’ve never been a huge fan of carrot soup.  I think it’s the limited texture and mouthfeel, so I get bored eating it. Lately we’ve been blessed with an abundance of beautiful purple carrots so I decided to make a soup that would satisfy my tastes. I jazzed this up with corn, sesame seeds, and chives. It makes for a great light dinner with plenty of crunch.
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Ground Cherry Salsa Salad

ground cherry salsa with avocado and cucumberIn Japan, Houzuki is a “ground cherry.” It’s not that the fruit is mashed up, but that it is a low growing plant. When ready to be eaten, it tends to drop its fruit on the ground, hence the name I suppose. They ripen in their husk to a golden hue. I’ve heard the ground cherry likened to a gooseberry, but can’t attest to the similarity.

The ground cherry has a lively flavor that is at once sweet and acidic, like pineapple or tomato. The local farmers markets are flush with beautiful fruits, so I wanted to make a fresh fruit salsa. Continue reading

Purple Carrot Chutney

purple carrot chutney ramekin

I’ve been on a chutney kick lately. Chutney goes well with rice, pasta, corn cakes, and idli (fermented bean and rice cakes). It makes a great dip, but it’s so good that I’ve been known to eat it by the spoonful. If you struggle with finding new ways to pack a ton of vegetables into a meal, then chutney is a great choice. Continue reading

DIY Body Oil

DIY body oil bottle with herbsAbhyanga is a warm oil massage, and it is one of the most important parts of a self-care routine. In Hindi, sneha means oil, and it also means love. It is a truly wonderful thing to do for yourself. This DIY body oil can be applied before or after a shower, and anytime your skin needs some affection. Continue reading

Tomato Chutney

tomato chutney bowlI spent the past week working at an organic farm on Okinawa. Gee whiz, the life of a farmer is rough! The work is hard and the rewards are great! In addition to feeding pigs (blech!), I learned about the farm-to-table concept. Husband and I talk about a small farm of our own one day, so I was testing the waters. I think it will be a good fit, so long as we can find farmland, in the middle of the suburbs, for a great price. This experience afforded me plenty of opportunity to practice Japanese and eat delicious organic food. Continue reading

Tangerine Turmeric Bliss Smoothie

tangerine bliss smoothie rose cupMikans are a seedless variety of tangerine. After zesting six mikans for another recipe, I knew that I had to act fast before they dried out. I wasn’t going to eat them over the course of a day, so I did what anyone with a high-powered blender would do. . . I drank them.

To be clear, this is a dessert, and probably the best fruit smoothie that I’ve ever had. It’s bright, warming, and comforting. The tiny specs of vanilla bean warm my heart and I’m pretty sure that I’m in love.   Continue reading