SAKURA MATCHA KIT-KAT, all the way from Kanazawa!

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A professor brought me back some goodies from her winter break trip to Kanazawa today. I thought I’d show some pictures of my sakura matcha Kit-Kat bar. Japan is like the BEST PLACE EVER for seasonal specialty Kit-Kat flavors.

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A SUGARBUSH WEEKEND: Like skiing on an ice cube.

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Hola! I spent part of the weekend at Sugarbush with some friends. It was my first time skiing there and, unfortunately, it was like being on a giant ice cube. Beyond icy. I skied off and on for half the day, pretty much the same trail, then went inside the lodge to drink coffee and read while my friends finished out the day. Iโ€™m rereading an old classic, Gone With The Wind. Rhett Butler for the win because he’s sharper and edgier than I remembered. I’m at the hospital bazaar scene and there’s DANCING!

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SHIRATAKI – AKA, MIRACLE – NOODLES.

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My sister was telling me about these noodles over the holidays, and then I found them in the grocery store in Vermont. Shirataki noodles that contain virtually no calories or carbs. Shirataki means “white waterfall” in Japanese and I thiiiiiiink these are essentially what we called konnyaku in Japan. Except they were more brown.

For the first ten months in Japan, I would often pass – because the grocery store was so small, and because I went almost everyday since my refrigerator was so tiny – the section with mysterious packs full of gelatinous, brown, squishy substances. Having absolutely no idea what they were, and thinking they looked disgusting, I never bought them. However, a teacher used them in a dish she taught me to make and LO AND BEHOLD I liked them.

They are actually made from some sort of yam. (Just looked it up- Devil’s tongue yam, to be exact.) In Japan, konnyaku can also be bought in a block, and you would tear it off into bite size chunks.

Here’s me taking pictures of Noji-sensei and her daughter tearing up the konnyaku.

JAPANESE COOKING.
JAPANESE COOKING.
JAPANESE COOKING.

I bought them a few more times during the summer, but thought I’d never see them again. But they are here! In fettuccini form! And I totally Americanized them by adding homemade turkey sausage spaghetti sauce on top.

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WHITE + GREEN BLEND FROM DOBRA TEA.

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I’ve been in TOTAL tea mode this winter. Over the holidays, I was reading The Four-Hour Chef in Ohio, and a section of the book talked about the best antiangiogenic (cancer fighting) foods. According to Doctor William Li, it’s TEA. He preferred a blend of white and green, specifically jasmine pearls with sencha.

When I went down to Burlington’s Dobra Tea – pause here, it’s THE MOST ADORABLE PLACE AND I NEED TO GO MORE OFTEN – to buy some new tea this weekend, their jasmine pearls were actually green tea instead of white tea. I guess there are many varieties? (I’m not a tea expert… again…MUST GO THERE MORE OFTEN.)

I bought jasmine pearls, a green tea, and silver needles, a white tea, and they really do look like pearls and needles. They told me to use half as much of the jasmine pearls as the white needles when brewing. It turns out to be a light, aromatic, floral tea. Since I like most things floral and anything that people tell me is a miracle food, I LOVE IT.

P. S. Here’s Dr. Li’s TED Talk, “Can we eat to starve cancer?”

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A WEEKEND IN AIRPORTS: Stuck in DC.

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I can never find an affordable direct route from southern Ohio back to Burlington, so I was supposed to fly back to Vermont on Thursday, via Cleveland, but that flight got cancelled because of snowstorm Hercules. I rebooked through Newark, but that flight got cancelled. I rebooked through Dulles, made it out of Ohio, but my flight out of Dulles got cancelled. I rebooked through Reagan, but that flight got cancelled. I rebooked AGAIN, and never ever want to call any airport hotline again, and made it back to Vermont on Saturday night after a scary flight in high winds only to find ants have taken over my kitchen and hot chocolate exploded in my suitcase. Ha! I was up half the night doing laundry and bug battles.

Luckily, despite the hassle to get back to Vermont, it ended up being a fun detour. My friend Mary lives in DC so it was like a mini-vacation in the city. I got to catch-up and see her new condo, visit some tasty brunch places, go to a yoga class, listen to some live music, and shop at Trader Joe’s. And DC looked pretty awesome in a blanket of its first snow of the season. TONS OF SNOWMEN!

I’m off to do some yoga downtown and a little grocery shopping because my fridge is empty. I’m thinking of makingย THIS but with chicken and roasted broccoli for dinner. I’ve made that recipe many times before and it’s the real deal.

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A MIDWESTERN WEEKEND: Still @ home in Ohio.

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I’m still home for a few more days. It’s been incredibly nice to have almost two weeks at home to chill-out, sleep-in, and see family. On Friday, a bunch of us went bowling. We blasted through four games and all of our hands hurt the next day because we were so out-of-practice. Ha! On Saturday, I went swimming in the morning and to a pizza party on Saturday night. More cute pets. Cue the AWWWWW.

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On Sunday, we were supposed to shoot clay pigeons, but the weather was gray and raining. I went to Target and the library instead. Womp womp.

I plan on seeing the movie Frozen sometime this week before heading back to the frozen-land of Vermont (high of 0 degrees F on Friday!), and trying to make something from this book to recreate some of that Thailand/Malaysian food magic that I had last year.

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For now, have a happy New Year from Ohio!

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@ YE OLDE TRAIL TAVERN.

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An impromptu visit to one of my favorite little taverns in my favorite little city in Ohio: Ye Olde Trail Tavern in Yellow Springs. Allison and I got Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (ranked by Thrillist as one of the Top Ten IPA’s this year!) and mom went for a Dark Side of the Moon.

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imageimage @ Ye Olde Trail Tavern. Dark Side of the Moon for mom and Bell's Two Hearted Ale for moi.
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They also serve food at the Tavern, like the Most Excellent Grilled Cheese. Ding!

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If you are ever in the area, drop in this little place. You’ll feel like you are in ENGLAND but with a super casual Midwestern vibe! It’s win-win.

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