Christmas Tree Doritos!

IMG_7834.JPGThe longer I’m in Japan, the more I find myself doubting whether things are strange or if perhaps I’m just out if the loop. Upside-down Christmas trees, six-eyed snowmen…my sense of normal is changing with every passing year.

With these new Christmas tree Doritos, they just seemed so clever that it was hard to believe that they hadn’t been done before. I mean, they just make sense, right? The color is easy to change, and the shape is already pointy. What better for a Cheistmas party than a bowl full of corn cream stew Doritos?

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Ok, that last part still sounds pretty Japanese. The flavor is pretty decent though. Corn soup and cream stew are winter mainstays here, and you can usually find the former in the hot section of the vending machine. By the way, it seems really strange to me that other places don’t have hot vending machines in winter–it just makes sense. I went to university in Montreal, and the quality of life there would be improved tenfold if hot vending machines were on every corner. Waiting for a bus in -40 degree weather would be way better with a can of hot corn soup in your pocket!

Anyway, these corn cream stew flavored chips are subtly flavored. The creaminess is nice, but very mild. The even provided help in a pinch when I ran out of plain chips for my chicken tortilla soup. Aren’t the just adorable? I think these should become a Christmastime staple around the world!

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What do you think? Would you try these or are they too silly? Cream soup flavored chips: weird or awesome? Let me know!

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World Order “Informal Empire” English Lyrics Translation

Screen shot 2014-12-11 at 9.37.03 PMA random bump on my lyrics translation of World Order’s Have a Nice Day reminded me that I still haven’t posted the lyrics to their most recent offering, Informal Empire. It came out Continue reading

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Country Ma’am’s Hot Drinkable Cookie

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Every now and then a Japanese company will come out with a new flavor that lights up the internet, especially in the West. Burger King’s Black Burger is a great example, as well as the recently rereleased Pepsi Pink.

Lots of new seasonal flavors just came out for Winter, and leading the charge is the new 飲むカントリーマウム, or Hot Drinkable Cookie from Country Ma’am.

Country Ma’am is Continue reading

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A conversation with a Japanese coworker…

turkey thanksgiving copy square

Trying something new with this comic-y style!

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Gobble gobble!

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Happy Thanksgiving, those of you in America! We had a great dinner here on Friday, but I wouldn’t mind being home right now watching the parade and getting ready to eat all the food in the world. Have a good one! :D

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Making Annin Dofu From Scratch!

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Annin Dofu, also called Almond Jelly, is a sweet almond pudding that is fairly popular in Japan. Apparently it originated in Hong Kong Dim Sum restaurants. Here it is often included with sets at Chinese places and is a lovely way to end the meal. It’s also popular in the dessert cases of convenience stores, often with various fruit toppings.

I had a craving the other day, so I decided to make my own. The grocery store had plenty of kits, but I knew that they usually come out pretty bland so I decided to try it from scratch. I was rewarded to discover that it was honestly just as easy as the kit. The only hard part was finding the Annin Powder, which was not in the dessert section of the grocery store, but rather the Import/Chinese section.

IMG_7610.JPGInterestingly, this bottle says “Almond Powder” in katakana below the Chinese, but Wikipedia says that 杏仁 is actually produced from apricot kernels. I didn’t realize how closely almonds and apricots were related!

400 ml milk

100 ml cream

4 tbls Annin Powder

2-4 tbls sugar (depending if you like it sweeter)

5 g gelatin

2 tbls hot water

1. Dissolve the gelatin in hot water, set aside

2. Put the milk on the stove, add sugar and annin powder.

3. Whisk in softened gelatin until dissolved

4. Remove from heat

5. Add cream

6. Refrigerate

If you pop it in the fridge it should take about 3 hours to set. If you’re impatient like me and you pop it in the freezer, it should take about 1 hour, but be sure not to forget about it or you’ll have frozen pudding!

Annin Dofu is often served with fruit cocktail, but recently I’ve been making a simple fruit sauce by taking canned apricot or mango and whizzing it in the blender for 30 seconds with a bit of the syrup. I imagine other fruits would be lovely as well.

This dessert is also often made with agar as a thickening agent, and I was thinking it might be lovely with almond milk if you’re interested in a vegan version, or even if you just want to intensify the almond flavor. Let me know if you make it, or have any tips for your own version!

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Kishi Bashi’s Lighght

I really love the KishiBashi album that came out earlier this year, so I drew this little portrait based on some of the jacket art.

I’m especially excited that his songs have started showing up at Karaoke, including one of my favorites from the album, “Mr. Steak.” Mr. Steak, you were Grade A!

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