Thursday, March 28, 2019

Leslie in Cooking Class

Here's a photo of Leslie and her cousin in a cooking class.  Guess where the class is.

In Morocco!!!

She'll be blogging about her trip when she gets back in a few days. Watch for it on my sidebar!!


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Watching YouTube

I ended up watching YouTube videos all morning today, and I dunno why but it gave me the playing-hooky-from-school feeling, as if it was something I wasn't supposed to be doing. You know . . .  wasting my time. 

So, I'm gonna stop now and fix myself some lunch.  Then maybe go give Kona a bath.  He's so stinky.

I chose this video to share with you. It made me cry A LOT. 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Toaster Oven-Baked Sweet Potato

I usually steam my sweet potatoes, but after reading my cousin V's conversation with Kat (Adventures in Japan) about baking sweet potatoes in a toaster oven, I wanted to give it a try.

I bought two medium-sized potatoes at the swap meet yesterday for $3.25.

After texting V for instructions (twice), I was good to go.

Wash the potatoes and poke some pukas in them so that they "don't blow up". Put them directly on the wire rack of the toaster oven. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes and . . . ho da ono they come out!


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Book-Off in Don Q

Deep in the lower left corner (as you enter the store) of the Kaheka Don Quijote is a Japan-offshoot used book store called Book-Off.  It's located next to the bank in a small area about four aisles wide with pre-owned books, magazines, DVDs and games.

A lot of the books are in Japanese so are unreadable to most of us, but they do have a nice selection of English-written books as well.

The best, best thing about Book-Off to me is their well-stocked clearance section where the books sell for only $1 each. 

I picked up these five books yesterday for $5 total.


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Go Ichinojo!!!

Tomorrow is the final day of the current Spring Basho tournament, and I'm so excited for Ichinojo who has a chance to win his first tournament. 

Having had poor showings in the last few tournaments he had been severely demoted in rankings.

From Day 1 of this spring tournament, I noticed a change in the normally mild and unaggressive Ichinojo. A fire seems to have been lit.

Day 14 shows Ichinojo with 13 wins and 1 loss. Standing in Ichinojo's way, however, is the amazing Yokozuna Hakuho who has already won a record-breaking 41 championships. 

Hakuho is undefeated in this tournament, but faces fellow yokozuna Kakuryu tomorrow. If Hakuho should lose and Ichinojo wins his match, there will be a playoff.

Go Ichinojo!


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Watercolor Journal

Here are a few recent pages from my watercolor journal.






Monday, March 18, 2019

Gouache Paint

Gouache paint is an opaque watercolor-type paint. I never thought that I'd like it because I prefer the translucency of watercolor. But I found that you CAN get it to be fairly translucent by mixing it with a lot of water.

You also can get great coverage like acrylics if you use less (or no) water and I like that it dries to a matte finish.

I did the painting below entirely with gouache. I totally copied an illustration done by Spanish artist Esther Gili in her book called Olivia Y Las Plumas.  I love love love her work.


The paint dries solid like this, but rewets easily with water.

Would you believe I was able to get all the different colors by using just these four tubes of paint?  I have a bunch (Ross good deal), so if you want to try (for free) let me know (, and I'll send you some.

Here's a YouTube video that I thought was excellent at explaining gouache paint.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Nice Day Dim Sum

I met Erick at Foster Garden one day last week to check out a camera that he's selling. It was around lunch time so he asked me if I wanted to go eat something. Initially I said "nah", but when he suggested dim sum, and it didn't involve driving into Chinatown I changed my mind.

We went right up the street to Nice Day Chinese Seafood Restaurant in Liliha Square. It was pretty crowded. 

Everything was ono, including the mochi rice which I apparently forgot to take a picture of. I didn't touch the spare rib looking thing, but Erick said it was good. 

Total bill was $30.25.








Tuesday, March 12, 2019


Wendell and I met a few of Wendell's friends at Yajima-ya for lunch yesterday. I've eaten from their truck years ago, but this was my first time in their restaurant.


They had a soup station with miso and chicken/vegetable soup. Both soups were good.

This is Gerald's Butterfish ($20.00)

Nag's Tuna Bowl ($19.50)

My Tempura ($15.50). Very oishiii!

Wendell's Daily Special Bento Box ($17.50). Wendell liked it a lot.

Here's my chopstick wrapper. I tried to be neater this time.

Here's Wendell's.

I would totally go back again . . . maybe for the butterfish.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Couple Yummies

Right next door to the Crack Seed Store is Sprout Sandwich ShopWhen I went to get the goodies at the Crack Seed Store I also got me a Big Kahtuna sandwich. It was Big and it was ono, but I didn't catch any of the "hints" of Havarti at all.

BIG KAHTUNA ($9.50)  House Tuna Salad w/ hints of Havarti | Cucumber | Tomato | Sprouts | House Mayo 

I also went to Sconees and got some mini blueberry scones ($1.55?). . . always a treat. 

Oh, BTW, I dropped by the Crack Seed Store again and chatted with the owner.  He said that he doesn't plan on retiring any time soon but will be away for more than a month this coming summer. He's going to the mainland to meet a new grandchild! 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Salty Snacks

Wendell's been into these peanuts lately. I think we're into our third can already. 

Me and Landon like to eat them with kakimochi, so guess where I found myself yesterday.

Hoo hoo!!

Crack Seed Store!

He had a nice selection of kakimochi.

I got 1/2 pound of the mixed arare. 

Just looking at this made my mouth water.


A lady who was in the store before me and a guy who came after me both bought this. 

They also got this King Mui. They both said that it was really good so I got a 1/4 pound bag to try. 

When Landon tasted it he said that it was probably the best he ever had . . . meaty and not too salty. He asked that if I go back to pick up three 1/4 pound bags and two of the li hing cherry for him to share.

I also bought a small 1/4 pound bag of this. I couldn't resist. It was ono.

The kakimochi turned out to be perfect . . . like before-time movie-theater kine.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Fisher Buys

The new Fisher ad started yesterday. I did buy a few uninteresting things that were on sale like bubble mailers and masking tape.

Here are photos of a few maybe just as uninteresting things that I also bought but at regular price.

This broad brush-tip Sharpie marker was $2.17.  It came in several different colors. I didn't know that Sharpie made brush-tip markers.  Or maybe I did know, but I forgot, which is what I tend to do lately.

Pentel ORENZ mechanical pencils are on sale, but not this 0.2mm ultra-fine size. I have a bunch of mechanical pencils but none as fine as this 0.2 mm. So I bought it. It was $4.95.

Refill 0.2mm lead was $1.69.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Elegant Writer Pen

Artists have discovered that the ink used in Speedball's Elegant Writer calligraphy pen displays a pretty blue/pink color when dissolved with water.

The rather stiff chisel tip was hard for me to work with, but I did love the effect when I brushed water onto the lines.

So fun!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Copying James Burke

This was fun to do. It's painted with black gesso and gouache paint and inked with a Uni-ball Signo white gel pen.


Thank you James Burke for always inspiring.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Using the Neocolor II Crayons

I used the Caran d'Ache Neocolor II crayons that I got at the swap meet to make this drawing. 

I love how the crayon totally melts when brushed with water, and it layers beautifully.

Inspiration came from Vicky Papaioannou's YouTube video:

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Wendell's Free-Form Meatloaf

These loaves were made by forming them on a baking sheet rather than putting them in loaf pans. They came out very crusty which I loved. 

Wendell found the recipe on the Epicurious website here



    • 1 cup fine fresh breadcrumbs (from 6 slices firm white bread; see Cooks' Note below)
    • 1/3 cup whole milk
    • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
    • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil, such as grapeseed
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
    • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck, preferably 20% fat
    • 1/2 pound ground pork
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup ketchup, divided, plus more for serving

      1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or 13x9" shallow baking dish with foil. Soak breadcrumbs in milk in a large bowl until ready to use.
      2. Pulse onion, celery, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. (Alternatively, you can finely chop by hand.)
      3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion mixture, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in Worcestershire, and scrape into bowl with breadcrumb mixture. Add beef, pork, eggs, 1/4 cup ketchup, and remaining 1 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper, then mix with your hands to combine.
      4. Form meatloaf mixture into a long, well-packed, approximately 5"-wide loaf shape on prepared baking sheet. Brush top of loaf with 1/4 cup ketchup. Bake meatloaf until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 155°F, 60–75 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with more ketchup alongside.
    1. Do Ahead
      1. Meatloaf can be made 3 days ahead; wrap in foil and chill, or freeze for up to 3 months.