Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

Saturday Morning Reflections

Posted in GF product, meals, product, travel, Uncategorized on July 13th, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

I’m always in search of gluten-free bread products.  I don’t use gf bread as a major component of my regular diet, partially because it’s a hastle and because I just don’t find it to be that good.  As you know though, I’m always looking for good bread/bagel products for the occasional cream cheese and jam breakfast.  A few weeks ago, I purchased Whole Foods’ Cinnamon Raisin bread and I’m pretty pleased with the recipe they’ve created.  I would say it’s up there with a Sally’s cinnamon raisin English muffin or an Udi’s bagel.

On a recent Saturday morning, when my resident pancake maker (David) was out golfing, I had a rare morning to myself (with no commitments).  In the absence of my weekend chef, I was looking for a “more fun than cereal” weekend breakfast so I decided to break out the cinnamon raisin bread and indulge in a little cream cheese/cinnamon raisin toast.  The Whole Foods Bakehouse bread is perfectly delicious toasted.  It’s got more flavor than plain bread and makes you feel like you’re enjoying a bagel.  There aren’t specific toasting instructions on the packaging but I heated it at 350 for about 5 minutes on each side.  (We don’t have a toaster in our house so we’re limited in our toasting options.)

I devoured both pieces of toast and of course enjoyed my breakfast accompanied with a cup (or two) of coffee.  Why do cinnamon, cream cheese and coffee go so perfectly together?  Not sure, but it’s awesome.

I couldn’t help but think about my brother, Rob, as I ate my breakfast and drank my coffee from my Yokohama Starbucks mug.  I received a postcard in the mail the day before from Rob sent via Okinawa, where his ship was in port at the time he sent it.  I can’t read a word of Rob’s handwriting so it can be a bit of a project to decipher his thoughtful cards (hence I was finally reading it a day later).  I haven’t seen Rob since March 12th, when his ship was sent out to do tsunami relief.  I miss him a lot.  I savor the occasional phone call from him from across the world and I only wish they could be more frequent.  You would think at this point I’d be used to my big brother being a world traveler (he’s lived in Japan, China,Turkey, and Bahrain), but I’m not.

It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago I wrote this post (“Blueberry Muffins and Childhood Memories”), which is one of my favorites.  A lot changes in a year.  Since then, Rob and Alden have had a baby, I’ve been to Japan (twice), we’ve both survived an earthquake, and Rob continues to serve our country, alongside many others whose families bear a large burden for their spouses’ hard work and service.  The families truly serve us too.

Rob & Chip

Rob’s going to be back in the States (hopefully) as of August.  I can’t wait to see him and have him back in the same time zone.  I know he’s eager to be home too.  You’re greatly missed, Rob.  Hurry home!

3 Months Ago…

Posted in travel, Uncategorized, Washington DC on June 14th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

It’s hard to believe that three months ago today I left Japan.  In some ways, it seems like ages since I left, and in others, it feels like just days ago.  On March 14th, I left Japan in a whirlwind, after an emotionally wearing four days.  As my plane lifted off the ground at Narita, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, but I didn’t regret being in Japan for a minute, and I still don’t.  I’m thankful for that time with my family and getting the rare opportunity to get to know my nephews.

hayama

As I look back on Gluten Freedom during that time, it’s particularly eerie that I published this post 45 minutes before the earthquake hit.  Clearly, I had no idea what was coming.

In those three months, I haven’t seen my brother, sister-in-law and the boys in person. Shortly after I left Japan, Alden, Pete and Chip were able to ultimately get stateside (after many, many flights), thankfully. Rob is still in Japan and his ship actually left Yokusuku yesterday to embark on another tour. He’ll be reunited with his family later this summer.  I’m going to see Alden and the boys this weekend and I can’t wait to be with them.  Chip turned two yesterday and he continues to be a sweet and wonderful child, full of personality.  Pete’s growing and I’m sure has changed so much since we parted ways in March.  Alden remains my hero and has been an amazing mother throughout all of this.  Can you tell I’m excited to see them??

Chip and me on a morning walk in Japan

Chip and me on a morning walk in Japan

From March to June, I finished up a successful lacrosse season, got through exams with my students, and am now enjoying a more leisurely pace of summer.  I’ve had two articles published in Living Without Magazine, on Washington, D.C. and Montana/Wyoming and tried to keep up with Gluten Freedom when I have a spare moment. This May, former students and advisees of mine graduated from college.  (I’m old!)  More former students then graduated from high school in June.  I have a new niece, Anna Lohne Metcalf, born in May.  David and I’ve been to four weddings, in Atlanta, Richmond, New York and DC, with a fifth on the way this weekend on the Eastern Shore.

So many things to celebrate!  Life is good.

Birthday Celebrations

Posted in baking, cooking, recipe, travel on April 1st, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

The day before the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, I celebrated my (yikes!) 29th birthday.  As I spent the day feeling special, and well loved, we had no idea that in less than 24 hours, natural disaster would occur.  It’s a bit eerie to reflect on my birthday and how wonderful it was and how unaware we were, but I’m thankful we didn’t yet know what was to come.

bday cake2

The morning started in the best way possible, with gluten-free chocolate chip pancakes.  The commissary on base sells Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix so Alden stocked up.  Chip didn’t want any of this nonsense of sugar at breakfast, but Rob, Alden and I enjoyed the yummy pancakes.  At home we use Pamela’s for pancakes, but Bob’s worked really well too.  They were a little thick but Pamela’s can be that way too.  (I prefer my pancakes to be thick and cake like as opposed to thin and crispy.)

Birthday morning hug from Chip

Birthday morning hug from Chip

Rob took Chip to the zoo on my big day so Alden and I had a lovely morning out, shopping at Homes in Yokosuku.  We bought bento boxes, chopsticks, nautical striped shirts (just make sure to buy two sizes bigger) and pencil cases.  Pete accompanied us and did very well on his first shopping spree.  We swung by the naval base on the way home to buy wine, People magazine, M&Ms, and other necessities.

For my birthday dinner, Alden made the most delicious chicken tikka masala.  I’ve mentioned before that chicken tikka masala is one of my favorite meals, but I’ve never made the dish from scratch.  Alden used the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated and even put her fish grill to work for cooking the chicken.  Tikka is actually the perfect Japan dinner because it doesn’t require an oven.

bday tikka2

Alden did all of the work and served us a delicious, yummy dinner.  Perfect.  The only thing that made the evening better was dessert!  Alden’s friend Lauren, who lives on base (translation: has an oven) made me a gluten-free birthday cheesecake.  I had only met Lauren once before but she spent an entire morning making me a cake.  Her kindness meant so much to me and the cake was such an unexpected treat.  Needless to say the cheesecake was divine.  Lauren used pecans in the crust which really added a nice texture and distracted from the often dense, gluten-free baking mix.  She used Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for the filling.  (I’m going to get the actual recipe for the crust and filling from Lauren and will report back to you.)  We enjoyed our cheesecake while watching Top Chef. Perfect!

Pete & my birthday cake

Pete & my birthday cake

And, as if all of the festivities weren’t enough, Rob and Alden gave me a wonderful birthday gift.  My very own ramen bowls, chopsticks, and chopstick holders.  It’s fitting that the bowls are decorated with rabbits as 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, marking my historic trip to Japan and the birth of my nephew Peter “Rabbit.”  (Get it?)

bday bowl

Thank you, Alden, Rob, Lauren, Pete and Chip for a wonderful birthday and a great trip to Japan.  I wouldn’t take it back for anything.  Seriously.

PS: After the earthquake, tsunami warning and evacuation, Alden and I decided we should be eating cheesecake at every meal.  So true.

Birthday Chicken Tikka Masala (Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

Ingredients:

Chicken Tikka:

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Masala Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 serrano chile (ribs & seeds removed), fresh minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 20 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

For the chicken, combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in a small bowl.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing so it sticks to the chicken.  Put chicken on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.  I a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic and ginger.

For the sauce, heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until simmering.  Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add ginger, garlic, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala.  Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in cream and return to simmer.  Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from oven’s source of heat) and heat broiler.  (Note: for those in Japan, cook chicken in fish grill.)  Using tongs, dip chicken in yogurt mixture, coating chicken in a thick layer of yogurt, and put on wire rack of oven in a foil rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan.  Broil chicken between 10 and 18 minutes, when the thickets parts are 160 degrees.  Flip chicken halfway through cooking.

Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce.  (Do not simmer chicken in sauce.)  Stir in cilantro, taste, add needed salt, and serve.

A great recipe that is naturally gluten-free, tested by Cook’s Illustrated’s test kitchen, and delicious.  Enjoy!

Reflections on Japan

Posted in travel, Uncategorized on March 22nd, 2011 by Betsy – 6 Comments

hayamview

Japan has been on my mind a lot in the last week.  It’s been exactly one week since I returned to the States, but it feels like a lifetime ago that I spent spring break in the Pacific.  Only in the last couple of days, is Japan no longer the first subject in my New York Times news feed.  Nuclear threat, tsunami and earthquake have slid farther down the page.  I’m not sure whether this is due to the media losing interest, Libya taking its place, or that the situation in Japan is too sad right now, with so many questions remaining, that the media is leaving it alone.

hayamfuji

I am finally able to begin writing about, and processing, this experience. Maybe it’s because I can breathe more easily as of 2:22am this morning when I received the email from Alden that started out “Home again, home again, jiggety jig.”  That’s right.  Alden, Pete and Chip are back in the United States, safe and sound, in Lawrence, Kansas, by way of Okinawa, Taiwan, Los Angeles and Dallas.  (NBD: 36 hours of travel with a newborn and a 21-month old.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Alden, you’re my hero.)

In debriefing my time in Japan, people want to hear about the horror and moments of panic, where I saw my life flash before my eyes.  The news jumps at the opportunity to capture the disturbing images and videos (most of which I still have not let myself see) of earthquake aftermath and uncontrollable waves.  It’s a shame that so often we learn about other parts of the world only when something terrible happens.  Most of my students didn’t know where to find Japan on a map before March 11th or that Japan uses nuclear power as a major energy source.  As with Thailand in 2004, we now associate Japan with destruction, confusion and despair.

Japan is a beautiful country.  I never would have imagined that I would visit Japan, let alone twice in six months.  I don’t regret my trips for one minute, earthquake, tsunami and all.  Yes, I have scary memories of three days of uncertainty, shaking ground, and an unimaginable fear of water, but in the forefront of my mind, I hold the beauty of this country, a beauty which still exists in many places.

The graciousness and kindness of the Japanese people is quite possibly one of the most emotional memories for me, from March 11th.  A neighbor did not hesitate to invite us in her car to go to higher ground.  The five of us were welcomed with open arms into the apartment of strangers in the midst of chaos.  Water and food were shared with us and toys given to Chip for distraction.  Even their cat put up with Chip’s fascination with an ‘indoor pet.’  As I fell asleep that night, I was scared but felt so loved.  Covered in blankets and curled up with the cat, for the first time since 3:00, I finally thought everything might be alright.

We should not ignore the devastation and the struggles that this nation has faced and continues to face.  Tens of thousands of lives have been lost and people remain lost.  Rebuilding has not even begun, but it will, and in a very orderly, efficient way, as the Japanese always do.  But while you pour over CNN and the New York Times, I hope you’ll take a minute to look at some of these images of Japan, specifically Hayama and Zushi.  I don’t have photos of the people that helped us, welcomed us, comforted us, but I hope that these photos will reflect the warmth of Japan that I felt.

hayam umbrel

hayamplumblossoms

hayamview2

hayamseaww

hayama chip

hayamveggies

hayamflowers

Wattsabi Update

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17th, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Many of you have expressed concern for my brother and his family.  I just wanted to let you know that Alden has updated her blog today, and thought you might be interested in keeping up on what is going on with them.  I am so proud of her and continue to be amazed by what a strong woman she is.

Here is her post: Wattsabi: 1 Year

“Too Soon”

Posted in travel on March 15th, 2011 by Betsy – 5 Comments

Yesterday I landed in Atlanta with an even greater appreciation of family, friends, and the good ole USA than I did just 12 days ago.  For those of you that don’t know, I flew on March 3rd to Japan to spend time with my brother and his family, and help out with my new nephew, Pete and his big brother, Chip.

Chip on a morning walk in Hayama

Chip on a morning walk in Hayama

Pete and Big Brother.

Pete and Big Brother.

The beach, just 100 yards from Rob and Alden's home in Hayama.

The beach, just 100 yards from Rob and Alden's home in Hayama.

Our first week was amazing, spending time as a family, with mornings full of reading stories with Chip, cuddling with Pete, afternoon outings, and great conversations over coffee and home cooked meals.  On the afternoon of March 11, our time in Japan completely changed.

In the midst of the earthquake, tsunami, evacuation, after shocks, and nuclear explosions, I did not have much time to process what was happening and how I was feeling.  We had to be strong for each other and the boys, not allowing ourselves to cry, scream or hide.

Alden and I found ourselves using the phrase, “Too Soon” any time one of us tried to make a light hearted comment about the ordeals we’d faced or if we dared to think we were in the clear on natural disasters.  (The minute we felt a sense of calm, a tremor would remind us that mother nature wasn’t finished just yet.)  At this point, it’s ‘too soon’ for me to write about the last week’s events.  I’m still working through my feelings and emotions, but I do know that I love my family so much, I am greatly fortunate and that there is too much suffering in this world.

While it’s too soon for me to put words on the screen, Alden wrote this lovely post 12 Days, on her blog, Wattsabi. I hope you’ll check it out.  Alden wonderfully articulates the horror of the events, but also the beauty of family, children and the amazing kindness we experienced from the Japanese during a time of chaos, confusion and language barriers.

Thanks again for everyone’s thoughts, prayers, emails and posts.  Your words of concern and encouragement made home not seem so far away.

Books are Gluten-Free: Reading List, Spring 2011

Posted in advice, reading on March 11th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

After international travel and time to peruse my sister-in-law’s bookshelves, I’ve got a good reading list to pass along to you.  I’ve completed some, am in progress on others, or they are a ‘to-do.’  Thank goodness summer awaits in just a few short months!

room

Room, Emma Donoghue: This gripping novel takes you into the mind of a 5-year old boy named Jack, who has never left an 11 x 11 foot room.  As you read, you learn more about why Jack is in this space and a scary, emotional, sad and hopeful adventure begins from there.  I could not put this book down as the voice of Jack is believable and powerful, and the story is suspenseful and will keep you up reading, late into the night.

unbroken

Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand: The author of Seabiscuit released this book before the holidays.  I read an excerpt of the manuscript in Vanity Fair, and knew I had to get my hands on it.  Hillenbrand brings the reader the true story of Louie Zamperini, Olympic runner and World War II army hero.  Zamperini’s story brings to life an experience in the Pacific during the war that you will not soon forget.  Airplanes, rafts, and prisoner camps only scratch the surface.  If you know someone who loves history, adventure, or just a well-told story, this is the book for them.  Even though there are a few rough scenes, this book is not to be missed.  I am yet to meet someone that didn’t love Unbroken.

heat

Heat, Bill Buford: This book takes us into Mario Batali’s kitchen at Babbo, in New York City.  Former New Yorker writer, Buford gets the opportunity to work for Batali, as a kitchen slave, line cook, pasta maker, etc. for over a year.  Heat also provides a biography of Batali’s life, his wacky personality and his rise to become the quirky, red-headed, croc wearing, TV star that he is today.  Buford also spends time in Italy, with a butcher, among other places, as ‘research’ for the book.  (I want to do that kind of research!)  I always enjoy a good foodie book and Heat served as just that.

at home bill bryson

At Home, Bill Bryson: The newest book from Bryson, the author of A Walk in the Woods, and A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bryson takes his reader through each room of his house while giving us the ‘history of private life.’  I’m just over halfway through this book and I love the little nuggets of random history Bryson gives us, but I have to admit, there’s not a lot of coherence to the book as a whole.  It seems as if he just wrote about the things he wanted to research and tried to find a way to fit these thoughts into a room.  Picture interior decorating gone horribly, horribly wrong.  I will finish the book though and if you’re a history nerd like me, especially a fan of social history, you’ll enjoy this read.  I already know so much more about concrete, the Vanderbilts, rats, the Eiffel Tower, and sugar.  If that doesn’t make you want to read more, I don’t know what will.

villain

Villain, Shuichi Yoshida: This Japanese murder mystery, translated into English (obviously), is a “who dunnit?” that takes place in southern Japan.  It comes highly recommended from Alden so I’m putting it in my suitcase for spring reading back in the States.  The book jacket describes Villain as a “stunningly dark thriller and a tapestry of noir.”  Sounds good to me, whatever that means!

girl-who-played-with-fire-stieg-larsson-book-cover-art

The Girl Who Played With Fire, Stieg Larsson: The second book in the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, I have this in hand for the plane ride home.  I have no idea what it’s about but I thoroughly enjoyed Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which got me through the flight home from Japan, round one, without going crazy, so hopefully the sequel will provide me with the same captivating distraction.

tale of two cities

A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens: I never read this classic in high school and I figure, being a history teacher and all, I should read this book.  I loved Great Expectations and I’m eager to dig into this one.  It’s on the shelf at home, waiting for my return.  I promise I’m not reading it because of Oprah.

Have you read any good books lately?  Spring breakers, what did you read during your R&R?

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

Posted in travel on March 3rd, 2011 by Betsy – 6 Comments

I’m heading back to Japan this morning to be with Rob, Alden, Chip and my new nephew, Pete!  I can’t wait to see them, especially because it means I’ll be done with the 14-hour flight.  (Thank goodness for direct flights to Japan!)

Here’s what I wrote about my December trip:

Yokusuku & Change of Plans

Things I Didn’t Know Until I Went to Japan (This post has been very popular with the Japanese…I now get hundreds of hits a day from Japan.)

Reflections on World Travel

Bon Voyage!

Dear Bachelor, The Spark is Fading

Posted in TV on March 1st, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

Spoiler Alert: Elaney, read no further…

bachelor logo

I’ve decided that watching The Bachelor by myself is not nearly as fun or entertaining as watching it with other people.  You need to be able to turn to someone to make sure all of this is really happening.

It’s just not that amusing to contemplate Chris Harrison’s awkwardness and therapist tendencies when watching solo.  In fact, last night I even fell asleep.  Yes, I fell asleep watching the fantasy suite episode.

Sorry, Brad.  I’m just not that into you.

Things I wanted to talk to someone about last night, but couldn’t:

Really, The Bachelor gets to go to South Africa before I do? WGP.

I love nature, but I have a feeling that a tree house was not Chantal’s idea of a fantasy suite.

Brad, are you really sure you’ve thought this 5-year old daughter thing through?  I mean you’re the guy that couldn’t even commit to a hot 20-something on your last season.

Most overused phrases of the episode: “Oh my Gawww!” and “Shut up.”

Of course the previews made it look like Emily was going to turn down the fantasy suite.  I didn’t believe that foreshadowing for a hot second.  Never happened in the history of The Bachelor, not going to happen this season.

Did Brad really just tell Emily he’s falling in love with her?  That statement’s got to be a contract violation.

How do things go from good to bad so quickly with Ashley and Brad?  Jet lag?

Ashley doesn’t want to hug you, Brad, because you just dumped her.  Why is that so hard to understand?

I’m still not quite sure what Brad’s ‘type’ is.  Chantal and Emily can’t be more different.

Any thoughts you want to share from last night’s episode?  Any speculation on who’s the final gal?

Next week for the ‘Women Tell All’, I won’t be by myself.  Actually, I’ll be watching from Japan with my brother and sister-in-law.  That’s right, I’m going back to Japan to meet my soon to be born new nephew and spend more time with my adorable nephew (soon to be big brother), Chip, and Rob and Alden.  David and I used to watch Bachelor with them in Virginia, so it will be just like old times.

Reflections on Cooking & Dining in Japan, and World Travel as a Celiac

Posted in advice, cooking, Restaurants, travel on January 20th, 2011 by Betsy – 5 Comments

Thankfully, I stayed healthy the entire time I was in Japan.  Pretty impressive for my first trip outside of North America since my diagnosis.  My sister-in-law, Alden went to great lengths to make sure that I had plenty of food options in their home (rice cakes, peanut butter, Chex, M&M’s) and she even researched dining options out.

At work in the kitchen.

At work in the kitchen.

There is something a little sad about no longer being able to be a culinary adventurer when I travel.  I miss being able to say “Sure, why not?” when something is put down in front of me.  Now there is lots of research to be done, questions to be asked, and restraint to be used.  I have never been tempted to eat gluten or break my diet.  I remember how miserable I was when during the height of my illness so no piece of pizza or cookie is worth purposefully feeling crummy.  In Japan, I was pitifully unadventurous in my cuisine, when dining out.  For the most part, I stuck with cucumber rolls, pickled plum and shrimp sushi, with my GF soy sauce.  Nothing fancy but still yummy and at least felt a little “Japanesey”.

Just because I couldn’t partake in all of the sampling fun, didn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy watching every plate go by me on the sushi conveyor belt at a restaurant.  And one of the highlights of the trip for me was going to a department store in Tokyo and taking in all of the sights in their version of a ‘food court.’  Did I know what anything was?  Nope.  Were any ingredients listed?  None in English.  Could I try it?  No.  But that’s ok.  Glass case, after glass case, full of beautiful dishes was still a sight worth seeing.

Just a taste of a Tokyo department store food cart.  No Sbarro here.

Just a taste of a Tokyo department store food cart. No Sbarro here.

At home we ate delicious “ovenless” meals, and one night we even made our own version of ramen, using rice noodles that Alden thoughtfully purchased.  We followed Gluten Free Girl’s recipe for Spontaneous Pork Ramen.  We made a few changes, but for the most part stuck to the original recipe.  It was yummy!  I was particularly proud of myself because I navigated the Hayama grocery store, solo, to pick up some of the ingredients for the dinner.  You should have seen me trying to identify pork and bok choy with no English for guidance.

We spent our last two days of the trip in Tokyo, and on our final night, we went out to an amazing dinner at Nobu.  That name might sound familiar to you because this high end restaurant has locations in New York, San Diego, Dallas and other cities.  I brought my card that explained celiac/gluten in Japanese and the folks at Nobu were very receptive.  (They even made a photo copy of the card and brought me back my original copy!)

Nobu

Nobu

At Nobu, we shared some veggie rolls and for my entrée, I ordered the salmon, which was delicious, and one of the most perfectly cooked pieces of meat I’ve ever eaten.  The dish came with a mango salsa rice and the flavors complimented the salmon perfectly and uniquely.  The staff was so attentive, clearly explaining everything to me, my options and what substitutions they would make.

nobu

For dessert, we shared the trio of crème brulees: green tea, brown sugar, and black sesame.  The crowd favorites were brown sugar and black sesame.  Green tea seemed a little too much like spinach.  (Side note: green tea is a very popular flavor in Japan.  Hagen-Daas even makes a green tea ice cream.)

Our dinner at Nobu was the perfect finale to our Japan trip.  A beautiful, delicious meal that kept me healthy.  Success!  While I left Japan without trying many of their staples, I boarded the flight back to the States with a full, and healthy, belly.  You can’t ask for more than that!