Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Room

I didn't have my own room until 18 since my parents and I lived in a small apartment in Tokyo.  I finally got a room all to myself when we moved to bigger apartment.  But I left the apartment 3 years after to a even smaller studio apartment in NYC with J.  After that, we moved to lots of places but I never had a room to myself.  I had a work space.... but it was shared with a bed room, office or dinning.  So this is so nice to have my own room even it's a tiny little space.  I can't make this room anything other than sewing room because of its size, but to be able to make the room to my taste is wonderful!

After putting the room together, I realized how much I missed sewing.  I couldn't open the boxes full of my things because of the renovations.  So I practically didn't have them around for over 6 months after we moved in.  I am not sure if I could work as a designer or seamstress like when I was in CT, but I do really hope to use this room a lot.

I loved making something pretty....  and I will do that again!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Busy April

It's been very busy in this April.  Finally the 2nd floor is done.  So it is ready to be us.  It's not a small space so it takes long time and a big effort to paint.  We finished J's room and my sewing room, but hallway and staircase are yet to be painted.

But it feels like spring now.  The dogwoods are beautiful outside of our house.  I enjoyed Magnolia and Cherry trees and now, Dogwoods are beautiful all over the town.

We have white and pale pink ones in front of the house.  I don't remember seeing them so much in NY area.  I like flowers that are not too fancy.  That's why Cherry Blossoms and Dogwoods make me so happy.

We got busy because of our new dog.  In addition to our 2 cats, we now have a Australian Shepherd puppy named Rosco.

He is yet to be 4 months old but twice bigger than the cat.  He will be twice bigger than how big he is now.  I never had a dog and I am not used to a big ones, so it is almost scary to see how fast he grows.  He is sweet and funny, but makes me crazy with the toilet training.  My daughter was much easier on the regard.

I'm missing time to bake this month....  Cooking became a choir because I'm so busy painting and moving things up stairs.
I hope things settle down a little bit so I can enjoy working in my kitchen again.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Southern Cooking and Sweets Cooked in March

I am interested in lots of kind of food.  When people ask me what I usually cook, it is very hard to answer.  I do cook Japanese naturally, but now that I'm living in TN, it's not easy to accomplish.  I also cook other Asian dishes....  Chinese, Korean Thai, Vietnamese.  But usually, I cook with more common ingredients so Italian and French influenced dishes appear a lot on the table.  
When I lived in Connecticut, my friends and I sometimes pick a town to visit in NY based on what kind of restaurants and stores available there.  We visited Bronx for Italian food, Brighton Beach for Russian, Astoria for Greek, etc...  When I have a chance to eat something that is from different culture, I am so happy to try it.
Nevertheless, I never liked Southern food that much even though my husband J is from Appalachia.  I guess the richness of frying food is not too appealing to me....  I know J wanted me to learn to cook good Southern food, but I didn't really take it seriously.
But one day, I baked biscuits.  J says that it's not supposed to be sweet like the ones in North.  I got the recipe that is not sweet and tried it.  It came out pretty tasty.  Even my daughter who never liked biscuits like it a lot.  
I baked cornbread other time since J wants to cut down gluten intake, I thought I'd give a try to bake cornbread with only corn meal.  

He also said that cornbread shouldn't be sweet like the ones in North.  So he liked my cornbread that didn't have any sugar in it.  It was fun baking in a pre-heated cast iron pan!
Somehow, now I am more open to cook southern food.  I am not a big fan of frying food, but I can certainly try to make some recipes less rich to suit my taste.  I think visiting Asheville was good for me in the regard.  I don't get to eat southern food in my town because it's not a tourists place so there is not much of Southern restaurants.  But place like Asheville has interesting Southern food.  More modernized, more healthy, more trendy....  Looking at them made me interested in it.  

Grits is one of the thing I picked up there.  It's practically Polenta...  I can put different kind of cheese in it.  I love it with fried green tomatoes!  It's not a heavy combination especially if I cook tomatoes in a little bi of olive oil.
There are lots to learn ....  But it at least started.  It's too bad I don't have hard core Southern relatives around me to teach. 

It's already April.  It was so warm yesterday.  But it went back several step today and I was wearing my coat this morning.  I hope to put it away soon.

So in March, I made these sweets.  I hope to try something new in April...

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