We have arrived!
After a 12-hour flight, my mom and I got off the plane to get our bags from baggage claim to get on our merry way. Only there was one problem: my suitcase was missing, but an identical one was still sitting at baggage claim. Literally every bad word I could possibly think of came to my mind. All I could think of was the fact that we were in a foreign country with no cell service and I was never going to see my things again. The Japanese airport attendants were beyond helpful and went to page the guy whose suitcase was there hoping that he hadn’t left the airport yet. For some reason I started walking around the huge baggage claim hoping I could see my bag. Miraculously I saw a hint of gold (my name tag) and I ran across the baggage claim to a man who was about to walk through immigration with MY bag and stopped him. I still don’t know how I found him in the craziness, but thank goodness I did.
Bag in hand, my mom and I waited for my Aunt and her friend to arrive and we were on our way. We rented an AirBnb in Yanaka (a lovely neighborhood). The house has Tatami mats and cots for sleeping (very traditional Japanese) and is on a quiet street filled with temples. We dropped our things, wandered around our neighborhood and grabbed some quick ramen and gyoza (YUM).
This morning we headed to Tsukiji Market for a tour of the fish market. It was overwhelming, but amazing to see all of the fish/produce/things in the market. The market is so active with prepping/selling/buying of fish that tourists are almost in the way of things.
We ate the best sushi I’ve ever had at a small sushi restaurant near the market and then wandered around the market looking at the small shops for the rest of the day. I’ve never wanted a thousand rice bowls and sake cups more than today.
Tomorrow we are off to the Imperial Palace!
Hi friends! I’m currently sitting in the airport lounge waiting for my flight to Tokyo!
About 6 weeks ago, my mom told me that my aunt and her best friend were going to Tokyo in March. It turned out that they were going the exact week that I had Spring Break from school. After a few phone calls, mom and I jumped onboard their trip. And now we are here. I’ve never been to Japan and am beyond excited to explore.
Since I had to fly from Atlanta to LA before heading from LA to Tokyo, I decided I was going to do a carry-on only. The weather is nice enough in Tokyo that I don’t need a jacket, so my lightweight Lululemon sweater is it (and if it gets chilly, I can always buy something!). Nike sneakers for walking (and I don’t care if they are “mom” shoes as Q told me), a pair of jeans and some button-down shirts and I am good to go.
I can’t wait to keep you posted on this fun trip!
PS this is my mom in Tokyo when she was exactly my age:
I love a good loaf of bread. I love baking bread. There is something sort of unknown when you pop that dough into the oven- will it rise? Is it ready? Will it be delicious? And 99% of the time the answer is YES. I hate buying store-bought, preservative-filled bread when it takes minimal effort to make my own and it tastes 1000 times better.
This Rosemary Olive Oil Bread never disappoints me. I love making it for grilled cheeses and tomato soup. I love making it for our weekday sandwiches. AND this recipe makes two loaves…. one for now and one for the freezer for later! I use my Kitchenaid for this loaf, but if you did want to knead by hand you definitely can. A great video on kneading is here!
Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
Makes 2 loaves
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
- 2 1/4 cups warm water
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, loosely chopped
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix the bread flour, honey, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and yeast.
- Add 2 1/4 cups warm water (about 95 degrees) to the flour mixture and mix together until the water is just incorporated, will be lumpy.
- Add in the all purpose flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is mixed together and is easy to handle.
- Knead dough (with dough hook or by hand) until it is smooth and springs back when you touch it (about 5 minutes).
- Place the dough in a large bowl that has been coated with1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cover with a towel and sit in a warm place to rise for 40-60 minutes or until dough has doubled.
- Once dough has doubled, punch dough down, knead in the last tablespoon of olive oil and the fresh rosemary and divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rectangle (the width of your loaf pans), roll up, and place into greased loaf pans. (A great Youtube video on how to roll the loaf is here).
- Cover the loaf pans with a towel and let the dough rise again in a warm place for 40-60 minutes, or until doubled.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Bake bread for 40-45 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped.
- Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes before removing from the pans. Let fully cool before cutting into.
Have you ever found a cookbook that you can’t stop cooking out of? Like every week you open it and find new recipes to try? Well I’ve found it. The Skinnytaste Cookbook.
Although I LOVE cookbooks and have a ton (thanks mom), I generally prefer the ease of online recipes. I can pop open the computer or iPad and just go rather than maneuver a book around the kitchen. Most weeks I find my dinner inspiration from the hundreds of blogs I follow, but recently it has been from my new favorite cookbook.
Some recent favorites from her blog and the book:
Thai Chicken Peanut Lettuce Cups
Seattle Asian Salmon Bowls
Rustic Italian Gnocchi Soup (made with Tortellini in our case)
Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup
Coconut Chicken Salad with Warm Honey-Mustard Dressing
Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
But seriously folks, every recipe is superb. I love the pictures, how her recipes are written and her healthy take on delicious food. Highly recommended!