Foliage Season in Japan

My dear friends and fellow bloggers, I am back! And I have certainly missed you all!

Last month I took some much needed time away from work and went to Japan for a visit. This was my third time in the country. I traveled extensively in the Kansai region, checking out autumn foliage as the season progressed.

Below is a quick recap of my trip. Continue reading “Foliage Season in Japan”


Hiking: Annette Lake

Here in the Pacific Northwest, it always amazes me how quickly our mood shifts according to the weather – one day it was rainy and gloomy, the other sunny and uplifted. Fortunately later was the case on Saturday. And it just so happened to be the day of the Chinese Double Ninth Festival, also known as the climbing festival.


So there we are, setting out to a mountain. Continue reading “Hiking: Annette Lake”

Hiking: Autumn in Mt. Rainier

People come to Mt. Rainier, in the summer for its myriad displays of wild flowers; in the winter for its endless opportunities of winter sports.

But on a beautiful sunny day in the autumn…


The view could be equally astonishing.

14457564_974507629344890_7806518816704935320_n Continue reading “Hiking: Autumn in Mt. Rainier”



The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…
―MFK Fisher

It’s been a while since I baked brioche. I almost forgot how intoxicating it smelled when one is in the oven. This recipe, adopted from L’Academie de Cuisine, yields approximately two pounds of dough, which will make 4 small, 2 medium or 1 large load of bread.


  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 cups (1lb) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup (8oz)  room temperature butter

Continue reading “Brioche”

Apricot Walnut Bread


Today a friend asked me what my blog is all about. Without hesitation I told him, it’s about food, it’s about travel, it contains recipes…and then it suddenly dawned on me that most of my recipes are from the food I sampled throughout my trips, inspired by the looks and tastes of a particular local dish and the anecdotes surround it. Cooking or reproducing it simply becomes an extension of the fond memories, back home. Continue reading “Apricot Walnut Bread”

Icelandic Lamb


Four years ago I took a much needed vacation to Iceland.  it was just a quick get away, labor day weekend plus two days. But it was one of the most relaxing and satisfying trips I’ve taken.

Iceland is perfect for short trips.  For one thing, it is close to the United States, 5 hour flight time from New York and merely 7 hours from the West Coast.  Secondly, it is a land blessed with many natural beauties: glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs and countless waterfalls, not to mention aurora borealis sightings most time of the year.21336068623_2a2604405e_o

Unlike other bigger European countries such as Italy, France or Germany, Iceland provides just enough sights and activities to keep you busy without feeling overwhelmed.  During my short trip, I soaked up the healing powers of the Blue Lagoon on the first day; Visited Gollfoss, the golden circle, and rode snow mobile on a glacier the second day; Treked one of Europe’s largest glaciers on the third day before hopping on a boat at this photogenic glacier lagoon;  And on the fourth day I took a hike in Thórsmörk and checked out the volcano ashes of the Eyjafjallajökulll eruption in 2010.


I have also had some amazing meals in Iceland with fresh local ingredients, including local seabirds/waterfowls, wild berries, foraged mushrooms and the Icelandic lamb. Continue reading “Icelandic Lamb”


I’ve been reading this book called “French women don’t get facelifts” by Mireille Guiliano .  Seriously, who wouldn’t want to know the secrets to that?

In the book, Mme. Guilliano named oysters as one of the age defying super foods.  They are packed with omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc potassium,  They are low in fat and high in protein. Great for healthy hair and skin.  Oysters are harvested year-round in the United States so we don’t necessarily have to wait for the ‘R’ months to eat them.

Several friends have asked me where is a good place to eat oysters in Seattle.  So here are a few of my favorite spots in town, along with their pricing.

Taylor Shellfish: where else to have these delicious molluscs but the farm itself.12141598_771885112940477_9076886922004799134_n

A dozen oysters at TSF (Shucker’s dozen) costs $30.  The variety changes based on season and availability.  Yesterday, I had a sample of Olympia, Shigoku, Peale Passage, Virginica, & Kumamoto (as shown above clockwise).  The Olympia oyster is a true west coast native, it has a high copper content and a concentrated metallic taste. One tiny piece costs $2.50, but it is worth every penny of it.  And did I mention, the Olys are Mark Twain’s favorite oysters back in the old days. What a fine taste he has! Continue reading “Oysters…Oysters”