Azuki with Home Made Bread

Posted April 30th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

Azuki is red colored tiny beans which oftenly used for Japanese sweets.  In Japan we use azuki bean paste (paste is called “An“) as a filling for manjyu (Japanese cake), steamed buns, bread (An Pan), etc,  or as a topping for pan cakes, sticky rice cake, ice cream…  there is azuki ice cream too.  I’m sure you’ve seen azuki ice cream in Japanese restaurants. 

An has actually different types: very smooth to chunky.  I like chunky An as I can enjoy the texture of beans.  

Here is the recipe for “An” …

  • 250g azuki beans (raw)
  • 250g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
   
  1. Place azuki beans in a large pot, and fill with water.  Bring to boil and then drain.  Repeat this action 2~3 times.  
  2. Place beans in the pot and fill with water.  Bring to boil, and then turn down the heat.  Simmer over law heat until beans easily break when you squeeze with two fingers.
  3. Drain beans well.  Place beans in a clean pot, and add sugar and salt.  Turn on the heat and dissolve sugar over law to medium heat.  Stir occasionally.
  4. When you scrape away the beans and you can see the bottom of the pan, remove from the heat.  Spread beans onto a flat tray or plate.  Let it cool. 
   
Softer you boil beans at stage 2, smoother the An becomes.

My friend gave me this beautiful loaf the other day, and I enjoyed thick toast with chunky An.  I love this bread!  It’s dense, and chewy.  Scent of honey really whet my appetite.  I can’t get enough of this.  So nice ♪ 



The Miami Bakehouse

Posted April 29th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | 2 Comments »

It’s been a while since Miami Bakehouse opened its second shop in Melville.  They represent themselves as a winner of more than 300 awards, and their range of pies is amazing: more than 30 pie varieties.  Crab & Feta, Big Breakfast, Chili Beef and Stockmans (combination of kangaroo, camel and emu!!) are just examples…

All the bread are baked fresh every day, and they have a huge range of cakes / sweet items at the counter as well.  You can either take them away, or eat in.  They serve nice coffees and other beverages to accompany those baked food.  You also can choose to get gourmet rolls if desired.

Last week I went to Melville shop with my friend, and had a wonderful time there.  

My friend had decaf soy latte with coffee eclair, and I had skinny long mac with danish.  

There’re about 8 tables inside, and 5 tables outside.  

I definitely would love to try one of their famous pies – probably Seafood Medley!  combination of prawns, fish and scallops served in a lemon pepper sauce… sounds yum!


Let’s Make Pizza

Posted April 27th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

This long weekend was lovely!  Nice weather, nice food….  On Saturday night we were invited to aunt’s house for BBQ.  We had a drink, sung karaoke…  it was fun 🙂  Sunday I went out with friend, and chatted for 2 hours over 1 cup of coffee and 1 piece of cake.  Talking never end…  That night D’s family and I went to South Ocean for dinner.  It was pretty disappointing that waiters mistook our orders twice 🙁  2 dishes out of 3 were not what we ordered, and waiters seemed to not understand what we were saying.  It actually happened few times in the past…  It was much nicer with their previous manager.  Shame that he no longer works in this restaurant.

Anyway,

Tonight I cooked dinner at home.  Asian Salad, 3 kinds of pizza, and Takoyaki.  A bowl of Edamame as appetizer too 🙂

I like the base of pizza to be thin and crispy.  Light taste and nice texture.

< base >

  • 4g sugar
  • 7g dry yeast
  • 80ml warm water
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2g salt
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water.  Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Pour yeast mixture and stir well.  Stir in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour is absorbed.
  3. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for about 1 minute.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.  Cover with damp cloth or kitchen paper, and them plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 245.
  6. Deflate the dough and knead briefly on a lightly floured surface for about 1 minute.  Pat the dough into a sheet, and bake in the oven for about 5~10 minute (until just cooked).
Then, you can enjoy decorating pizza toppings!
I made three flavors:
< cajun chicken + bacon + bbq sauce >
Spread napolitana sauce (recipe below) on pizza base.  Arrange chopped bacon, shredded chicken breast (boiled or grilled), sliced mushroom, sliced mango (tinned), and sprinkle cajun spice.  Top with grated Mozzarella cheese and bake in very hot oven until nicely colored.
< tuna + corn + mayo + bechamel >
Spread bechamel sauce (recipe below) on pizza base.  Arrange tuna (tinned) and corn kernel.  Sprinkle paprika and drizzle mayonnaise.  Top with grated Mozzarella cheese and bake in very hot oven until nicely colored.
< seafood + lemon + coriander >
Spread napolitana sauce on pizza base.  Arrange branched seafood (prawn, squid etc), sliced olives, and drop little amount of pesto.  Squeeze fresh lemon juice over, and sprinkle chopped coriander and salt&pepper.  Top with grated Mozzarella cheese and bake in very hot oven until nicely colored.  Serve with lemon wedges.
Enjoy while it’s hot ♪
****
< Napolitana Sauce >
  • 1 tin whole tomato
  • 1/4 onion
  • 3cm carrot
  • 3cm celery
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1~2 basil leaves
Chop onion, carrot, celery and garlic finely.  Saute vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat.  Pour tinned tomato and bring to boil.  Turn the heat down to low, and add shredded basil leaves to the sauce.  Simmer for about 10~15 minutes.  Season.

< Bechamel Sauce >
  • 5g unsalted butter
  • 5g plain flour
  • milk
  1. Melt butter in a small pan.  (don’t let it burn)  Add flour and stir.  Pour little amount of milk, and stir.  Add milk, little amount at a time, and stir well each time until the mixture is right consistency.

Caversham Wildlife Park

Posted April 25th, 2009 in Perth WA | No Comments »

This Anzac day I spend whole day at Caversham Wildlife Park in Whiteman.  It was little cloudy, but luckily not raining.  It’s been cold weather since couple of weeks ago.  Change of season 🙂

At Whiteman Park, there are wide picnic spaces and some parks where kids can play around.  It’s free to enter this area, but you have to pay $22.00 per adult to enter wildlife park.

There are kangaroos, Koalas, lots of wild birds, llama, piggy, donkey, wallabies, goats, sheep, camel, wombat, Tasmanian devils, etc etc…

You can feed kangaroos, llama, and ride on camel.  You also can take photos with wombat at wombat shows which runs daily at 11am, 2pm and 3:45pm.

See more photos here 

On the way back home we stopped at Strawberry Farm which is located on the corner of Wilson Rd and Toodyay Rd (few hundreds meters after Roe Hwy from city)  This farm sells very sweet strawberries at very cheap price, but it’s now Autumn and not strawberry season, so we couldn’t get any strawberries.  Instead, I bought one small watermelon.  (cheap)  I should come back here in Spring for one huge tray of strawberries. 🙂


Photos from Australia

Posted April 22nd, 2009 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

This is a photo blog by a Japanese who travels around Australia.  The photos on this blog are truly beautiful and take my breath away!  These images are exactly what I imagine of Australia before I came here.  Lots of nature, lots of wildlife…  This guy captured the moment of natural beauty!

And more at here!

The title of this blog “Image to Kotoba” = “Images and Words”.  Words are written in Japanese, but I’m sure that anyone can feel the moment of each scene.


Bagels in Perth

Posted April 21st, 2009 in Food, Perth WA | No Comments »

I’ve been eating bagels quite often lately.  This Bagelier is an online bakery shop settled in Metropolitan Perth, which deliver freshly baked bagels and other baked sweets right to your door.

I love bagels, but I also miss Japanese style bread.  I hope someone open a Japanese bakery shop in Perth!  Japanese bread are different, and there are many many flavors.  Is there bakeries owned by Japanese bakers within Australia?  

By the way I love my Cranberry x Cream Cheese bagel at Bagelier.  Green Tea flavors are also nice.  After toasting they are nicely crusty and I can enjoy the hard crust as I like.  Personally I love very crusty bread, or very chewy bread.  The bagels from bagelier are nicely chewy and reasonably hard when you heat up.  If you have a small oven toaster it makes them nicely crunchy and chewy!  You can buy them in bulk and keep in the freezer, in this way you can enjoy a bagel anytime 🙂


Chocolate Cake

Posted April 19th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

Crunchy roasted nuts are a great accent on this mild creamy chocolate cake.

<Chocolate Cake>

-sponge-

  • 2 Eggs
  • 60g Granulated Sugar
  • 50g Plain Flour
  • 10g Cocoa Powder
  • 20g Unsalted Butter (melted)

-ganache-

  • 100g Dark Chocolate
  • 100g Fresh Cream
  • Orange Liqueur (eg: Cointreau)

-syrup-

  • 1 tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 2/1 cup water

-garnish-

  • Roasted nuts (eg: peanuts, almond etc)

* Heat up oven to 170

* Line up a cake tin (16cm)

  1. Place eggs and sugar in a bowl.  Over warm water bath, whip the egg  till ribbon stage.
  2. Fold in shifted flour and cocoa powder.  Add melted butter, and fold in.  (don’t over mix)
  3. Pour into lined tin and bake in the oven for 25min or till the sponge is cooked.  Let it cool down.
  4. Boil water with sugar in a small pan till sugar dissolves.  Let it cool down.
  5. Break down dark chocolate and place in a clean bowl.  Boil cream, and add into the chocolate.  Mix till smooth.
  6. Halve the cooled sponge and brush syrup on the surface of each slices.  Spread ganache on one slice (syrup side) and place another slice on top.  Spread ganashe on the surface and side.
  7. Decorate the side of cake with crushed roasted nuts.  Garnish with ganache, nuts and melted white chocolate.

Modern Japanese Beauty Salon

Posted April 18th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

I noticed my skin and hair condition got really bad since I came to Australia.  I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who feels that way.  The biggest cause of this, I believe, is the air.  The air here is really really dry!  My eyes need eye drops every half an hour, and my skin looks like it has scales on it.  That’s way I can’t neglect to use body lotion after shower.  I think UV and water are also the causes.  Water here is hard, and water in Japan is soft.  I don’t know what difference it causes to our body but I definitely feel my hair is softer and moist in Japan.  Here, even though I use same shampoo from Japan I feel my hair is very dry.  Well, so I have to put a little more effort to maintain my body in Perth.

Actually I seldom go to a beauty salon to get massage or some kinds of treatment.  It doesn’t mean I don’t like it, it’s just because I don’t wanna spend lots of money on myself.  I’m pretty sure lots of girls like getting massage and beauty treatments.  Don’t you?  I am too.  So when I feel “oh my body really really needs some help…” I go out to get my body rescued.

This beauty salon MC Beauty is located in Northbridge, and the owner Mrs Mako is a professional beauty practitioner.  All the staff there are highly skilled Japanese beauticians and some of their machines are directly brought from Japan.  That’s why I only go to this place in Perth.  I feel safe!

I’ve been there few times for IPL, but today I experienced their special facial treatment.  It was my first time to get facial treatment in my life!

Oh my gosh… it was soooo nice.  I almost fell asleep.  Seriously!  This special facial treatment has 14 steps, and they massage my decollete, shoulders, neck and legs/arms too.  These steps include deep-cleansing, peeling, ion innovation, buble cleansing, mask, spinal electric massage etc…

The skin care they use is 100% organic naturally produced in Australia, (a brand called Janesce) and I loved the scent of rose.  They said to me that rose extract actually helps reviving body tissue too.  They of course have other than rose if you don’t like the rose scent.

Now my skin looks very different.  Smooth and moist.  After the session they said that my body age accorning to the spinal electric thing is 42!  Oh no…  They taught me some strech and massage techniques so that I can do it at home.  It’s nice that I can see the analysis of my skin level and body condition in a graph.  The staff are very friendly yet professional, that’s the reason why I wanna come back here in the future.


Beauty…

Posted April 11th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

About 4 months ago I found this web-blog by a Japanese woman who lives in UK.  Apparently she is a pro photographer and she shows stunning photos in the website.

I don’t know much about photos (like “what is a good photo” “how to take photo”), but these pictures blew me away!  So beautiful.

Her photos in Kyoto have captured the natural beauty that you can experience in ordinary days.  Simply stunning.  I could almost feel the air in these photos.

I actually used these photose to show in-laws that what Japan is like.  We are going there in September!  Can’t wait!

Photos in Kyoto→nordljus


Easter Holiday

Posted April 10th, 2009 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

It’s a hot day!  I went to Freo this morning.  Some places were closed, but cafes and some shops were opened.  There were so many people there, wondering around the city, having picnic at a park, or walking near the shore.  I had an iced moccha at Fusion Cafe on South Tce, then headed to Fremantle harbour to wonder around.

After I came home I cut up the chocolate cake I made last night.  Easter eggs, chocolate, cakes…  I hope my weight stays still during this holiday :p

Happy Easter Holiday to everyone!