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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Cozy Sunday Lasagna

I woke up at 11am today. :-/ Either I needed the sleep or I’m living up my last days before the early a.m. routine kicks in at my new job. The rainy drizzle and overcast skies didn’t help my motivation any. I lit a Pumpkin Spice candle just for effects. $1 well spent.

The weekends always seem to go by in a flash and this weekend was no different. I spent Friday night out on the town which always seems like a better idea than it actually is.

Luckily Saturday morning came in a flash (or not so lucky…in the lack-of-sleep department) but I had a coffee date I couldn’t be more excited for! I met up with the fantabulous Healthy Everythingtarian herself. I felt like I’ve known Holly for years, we are in fact born and bread in the same city, fyi. This girl is everything you thought she would be and more. We had a blast gabbing away at the local Panera for coffee (which I should have subbed for saline straight to the veins considering my Friday evening), but we shared some good laughs over my ‘lack in brain cells’. (I.e. Me making eggs the other day and putting the cheese away in the pantry and not back in the fridge???) I don’t know where my head is at sometimes! I wish I could say I had pictures from the afternoon, but guess who forgot their camera in the car or at home or who knows where?!

After two hours we parted ways and Holly headed off to her sister’s Bachelorette Party and I had to get ready for the SheTaxi holiday party. I was in charge of dessert. Again, adapted from Smitten Kitchen, I healthified the Maple Cream Cheese Carrot Cupcakes. You can find my changes here. This time around. I made ’em mini.

They were a hit! And who doesn’t like their dessert bite-size? And no butter/oil. :mrgreen: It’s the simple things in life that I like to indulge in. These are one of them. I think I’ll be repeating this recipe for Thanksgiving. You should too. They are that good!

Oh, but the deliciousness doesn’t stop there! Like I said, I wanted to spend my Sunday snuggling up on the couch, doin’ a little cleaning, laundry, this and that.

That includes LASAGNA!

Adapted from Culinary Cafe.

This is what you need (and yes that’s a 5lb tub of cottage cheese ❀ )

Here’s what I did:

  • Boiled water with salt, added 7 lasagna sheets (the recipe called for 6, but I can’t count)
  • Browned Italian meat (1.5lbs, put half in fridge for later use)
  • In a 2-quart pyrex, I added 1 cup of pasta sauce
  • Added the rest of the pasta sauce to the skillet of meat (~.75lb)
  • Layered the bottom of the pan with 3 cooked lasagna sheets (cutting 1-2 inches off the end b/c they’re too long)
  • Added 1/3 of sauce & meat mixture
  • Added 3/4 cup of Cottage Cheese
  • Sprinkled ~1/2 cup of cheddar/Italian/Parmesan cheese
  • Add two sheets of lasagna noodles and repeat meat/cottage cheese/shredded cheese steps
  • Add final two sheets of lasagna noodles (using 7 total, could use 6 too)
  • Add last 1/3 of meat, and sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top
  • Cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour and light a candle.

Ahh, the joys of fall.

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Well hello lovelies (this includes male lovelies too). I just felt like saying that for some reason.

It’s Monday morning in Japan, blazin’ hot in this office, I’m high on something (caffeine I’m pretty sure) or life. I came into school with 50+ emails and lemme say, never again will I go ‘unplugged’ for a weekend. I will admit, it was refreshing at the time, but catch up’s a b*&$%. Ha, I think it’s safe to say I’m addicted to the internet. 😳 But anyway, this weekend was epic. I didn’t even do anything that spectacular, but it was to me, and it’s my blog, so therefore epic recap in store.

Friday Fun~

First order of business, run my little heart out. 8 miles and one bathroom pit stop later. Check.

All a part of the training sched, got her outta the way on a lovely Friday afternoon, perfect…since I knew there may not be time this weekend otherwise.

The sight from my ride home with Ms. ichi-nensei:

See that sun settin’ right over yonder beyond Mt. Iwake. That mountain never looks the same on any given day. I love it!

I had ‘plans’ to go home and self-diagnose my new ailments watch House, but when I got the call for curry (real, Indian curry, not Japanese curry) with Alesha and Christine, I obviously couldn’t turn that down, even if it was my second trip of the week (lucky for me, it lasts two meals!). I walked to the eki and brought a little friend* with me.

I sat down with the ladies and they had graciously ordered for me. I was craving Chicken tonight. I was a little ‘misty’ from the humid walk, gross, and all of a sudden I felt a little tickle on the back of my neck. I felt it, and wanted to scream (just shivered now, thinking about it) but there was a huge, yes, a huge freakin’ beetle (that little friend) crawling up my neck toward my head. I grabbed it and threw it at the wall, proceeding to squish it with a napkin and immediately go wash my hands. I don’t mind bugs (that much), but when they’re on me—that’s a-whole-nother story. Bleh. Alesha and I swapped curries (she had Dal and didn’t like it), and so I offered to switch. Not 5 minutes later I found a long black hair in mine (the chef’s). My usual self would have probably made a huge complaint and been super grossed out and maybe slightly peeved. For some reason, I wasn’t and I just took it out and didn’t think about it. We know the owners, nice guys, simple mistake. I left it at that and enjoyed my meal.

After dinner I opted for House and bed. ‘Twas glorious.

Saturday Sun~

My attempt at sleeping in failed as per usual. No joke, I shoot up out of bed at 4:15 EVERYDAY, no matter what. Well, I managed to fall back to sleep until a little after 8a.m. when I was notified via the empty pit that it was time for breakfast. I whipped up some protein-enhanced French Toast with:

  • 1 slice of ‘Nice Bread’
  • 1 egg + 1 white
  • sprinklet of Nutmeg
  • almond extract
  • dabble of real Hokkaido butter
  • boat loads of Cinnamon

My topper was inspired by Angela who came up with the idea of Breakfast Hummus. I don’t think her recipe has debuted yet, but just so you know it was her idea, but this is what mine entailed:

  • 1/2 cuppish (I’m really bad about measuring) chickpeas
  • 1/4 cuppish plain yogurt
  • 1 tbs TJ’s creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 scoop Chocolate Whey protein powder
  • splash of milk to help the little engine that could (my ghetto blender)
  • 1/2 banana
  • drizz of agave

Blend. It was really good. Perfect topper for my little Frenchie…that and a dollop of Japanese cottage cheese (which I mentioned before is not goopy). It was fabulous. MMMMMMM. So good. I had left over ‘hummus’ and it was really good with some strawbs that I bought later.

After breakfast and more House I peeled myself off the futon and got to Budokan for a little upper body, courtesy of BFL and then set out for some biking and reading (never thought I’d be doin’ that). I love reading but I’m always ‘too busy’ to sit down and enjoy a good book. Times are a changin’. I parked myself, some carrots, an orange, and crab out across a little plot of grass at Hirosaki Castle park and enjoyed the summer sun and my book. I had the opportunity to go to a ballet class (if you know me…and know that I can’t touch my toes) this is the biggest joke ever…but I did almost go. I need some core work, and flexibility. I didn’t end up going, but maybe next week, if I’m brave enough.

On my way home from biking/reading/market shopping~ pesticide-free broccoli: WAHOO, I also snapped a picture of this bike near my house. I just love it:

Then this little granny comes up to me and wants me to take a picture of this weird carriage thing with a Santa Claus in it. No thanks, that thing is creepy and would haunt me for sure. More bikes please πŸ™‚

Just caught my eye, then I was on way.

I had the night to myself and made sure not to do a thing. I loved every minute of it.

Sunday Shopping Shenanigans

I had a shopping date with Tomo at 10a.m. We planned on driving out to Goshogawara for the day (about 30 minutes by car) to hit up Elm shopping center and see what we could find. Oh, and dinner plans for me to introduce American cuisine to the fam was still on the agenda.

With a slight budget in mind, i.e. Molly you leave in 50 days, don’t be dumb and buy anything you don’t have the space for….that idea went slightly according to plan. I bought a small ring and a ‘to die for’ scarf. Oh, and some things from the Foreign Food market (without hesitation). Let’s just say the Palak Paneer purchase got me super stoked (even more than I already am) for my trip to India, which is 40 days and counting. **Pictures tomorrow on those purchases. Promise!

Since I’m a narcoleptic by self-diagnosis, I obviously fell asleep on the car ride home. Tomo and I went for a quick run around Owani before it was dinner time. Which was BOMB! So freakin’ good.

Japanese Suroppi Jiyozu a.k.a. スロッピジョズ (a.k.a. Sloppy Joes)

  • 300 grams ground beef
  • 1 can of tomatoes/onion (in place of processed and sodium-intense Campbell’s soup)
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbs (give or take) spicy mustard
  • ketchup (fair share of drizzle through out pan)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Buns

Directions:

  1. Brown meat
  2. Add everything
  3. Stir
  4. Enjoy

Oh boy. That was a HIT! Mama Kase, and Grandma dove right in and loved the sloppy mess. Mama even picked up her ‘burger’ and successfully got every last bit in her mouth and not all over her hands! We enjoyed some Japanese sides of veggies, potato korokke:

…fish, some gloopy seafood animal (not a fan), and fresh out-of-this-world watermelon ($30 for the thing!) as our dessert. Don’t forget the phone call Papa Kase made me make to their eldest son (in Sendai) with whom they wanted me to practice English with. First off, he answered the phone extremely confused as to who I was, why an English-speaking woman was calling him, and what the heck I was saying…all while Papa is laughing hysterically in the background. Lesson failed. Comic relief definitely a success, glad I could be of service. πŸ˜€ It was really funny, and topped off my night with the fam.

Ok, each day I realize how hard it’s actually going to be to leave. I’ve already got a ‘training date’ set up with Papa Kase next Saturday at the crack of life (8a.m. for a pre-course run) before my race. Then, the following Sunday (race day) the family is coming to cheer me on and we’re celebrating Mama Kase’s birthday after the race. Don’t forget my premature goodbye party with last year’s teachers happening next weekend too, but first: Tonight’s World Cup Game! Japan vs. Cameroon

source

I’ll be meetin’ up with a Japanese girl who is friends of another ALT and we’ll hit up the Kaji machi sports bar. Kickoff: 11pm. Gonna be a late night tonight. I promise some pics and that announcement coming in tomorrow’s post!

~Molly

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