Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gyoza galore

Gyoza galore
Originally uploaded by deena_in_tokyo
R and I were on a short road trip this weekend and we drove through part of Tochigi last night. Tochigi is famous for gyoza so this was our dinner. Yum!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Some of the best buys I have ever made

1. My region-free DVD player that I bought on the internet for 5000 yen. It is made by some no-name manufacturer that I have never heard of and it is mainly flimsy plastic, but it has seen me through over four years of almost constant use. Buying this really expanded my options DVD-wise and has allowed me to see a lot of shows not available on DVD in Japan. Thank you, cheapo DVD player!!

2. Diner Dash 2, a computer game I bought at WalMart in the US for $10. This has provided hours of mindless (and I mean really mindless) but great fun. I love this game!!

3. My clothes dryer. I bought this used for 10,000 yen four and a half years ago, and it has been well worth it. It is getting old and could give up the ghost at any time, but it has made my life so much easier, especially in the rainy season! Of course electric clothes dryers aren't exactly environmentally friendly...but my sanity was worth it, especially when I lived in Urayasu in a little tiny shoebox with no room to hang clothes. Thank you, clothes dryer! I look forward to more years together.

4. Our dishwasher. It takes up a lot of counter space and it wasn't cheap, but it has more than paid for itself in reducing the number of arguments R and I have about the dishes!! Unfortunately it is not as high-powered as I would like and sometimes we have to wash a few cups twice, but it has made things much more peaceful between us when it comes to chores. Worth its weight in gold!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pleasant surprise

Until last week I had been using the same Toshiba Dynabook laptop for five years, and every time I had used it in the past year I wanted to throw it out the window because it was so slow. One of the mouse buttons on the computer (hard to explain) broke, so I could no longer do right-clicks. Then one day last week it took me several minutes to open Internet Explorer, and that was the final straw.

R and I headed to Bic Camera and found that the computer I had my eye on for a while had gone down in price! It still was a large chunk of money, though, so we tried to negotiate with the sales clerk to get the price down further (tacky, I know), but all we got for our efforts was a 1GB memory stick and a Toshiba note pad (not bad, I guess). But I went ahead and bought the computer anyway.

I took a week to transfer data and clear files off of my old computer, which took an unbearably long time to do. When everything was complete, we took it to Sofmap to see if they would buy it. It was dirty, and as I said one of the buttons was broken, so I told myself I would be happy if they would just take it off my hands for free. Much to my surprise, they paid me 22,000 yen for it!!!! Wow...completely unexpected, but very welcome.

Needless to say, dinner was on me today. :-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In a tomato mood

Tomatoes are everywhere right now. I am not a vegetable (fruit?) expert, but they must be in season.

The tomatoes I see in the supermarket have all been so beautiful (and on sale to boot!) that I can't resist buying them.'s tomato week at our house!

Yesterday I made curry-flavored tomato ratatouille for dinner. Today I got inspired by a TV show I saw this morning and decided to try my hand at making dried tomatoes. The results looked like this:

The one I sampled was quite good!

Dinner will be spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, parsley, guessed it! Dried tomatoes.

I also made tomato bread, which I think we'll be having for dinner as well.

This was shot to hide the slice at the back that I cut off because I couldn't resist taking a sample. I wish I could link to a scent, because the aroma of this baking was fantastic!

Unfortunately I am not skilled enough to turn tomatoes into a dessert...any ideas? :-)

P.S. Thank you for the wishes for my friend. She had a 13-hour surgery last Thursday that was apparently more complicated than the doctors aniticipated. She is doing well, however, and sent me an email today from her phone!

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