two of my favorite end of autumn local flavor: fuji, the king of the whole lot of varieties of apples grown here in nagano, that wraps up the apple season; and walnuts. both grown by people we know. #shewhoeatsfromthemarketsandfarms
apple caramel crumb bars. buttery and oaty cookie base, sauteed apple slices, spiced caramel, and walnut-studded crumb topping. recipe by @annierigg, here made using the bourbon cider caramel left over from the crepe cake i'd made the other day.
spiced pumpkin cider and pumpkin biscotti. #thanksgiving is a holiday i am secretly fond of, in spite of - or possibly because of - the fact that i haven't joined in a full-on turkey day celebration for a long time. Happy Thanksgiving (and/or Friendsgiving) to all in/from the U.S. who are celebrating it! cx
for spiced pumpkin cider: pumpkin puree and (soft) apple cider (here homemade and freshly pressed!), gently simmered with spices, served warm spiked up with a good measure of rum. pumpkin biscotti: i made using leftover pumpkin puree.
pumpkin apple crepe cake with bourbon caramel. a stack of spiced pumpkin crepes filled with wafer thin caramelized apple slices and pumpkin custard (with odd few layers of cream cheese). topped with pomegranate seeds, toasted pecans, and apple cider and bourbon caramel, which proved to be more than just a topping but rather a star of the show. #pumpkineverything #thanksgivingdessert
first trip to the green market since coming back home, i was surprised and delighted to find two varieties of apples that are *not* fuji, which usually dominates the store shelves from late november onwards. other finds: quince; raspberries (another surprise, this late in the year!); and kiwifruit. also came home with me, though very decidedly not local but very seasonal: pomegranates.
i have been away from home longer before, away from my kitchen - or anyone's - much longer. yet I've never come home feeling so completely disconnected from cooking and baking as i did this time. over the past week or so i've been slowly getting back into it, starting with something not complicated like these glorious multigrain muffins.. stopping here and there, reacquainting myself with which drawers hold what, things like that. calming and reassuring.
apparently, making a super fancy version of a popular snack everyone grew up eating and selling them at a small number of outlets seems to be a thing in osaka at the moment - and perhaps elsewhere, and i'm not above these fads. here are some of them i got while in osaka, mostly because i didn't have to wait in a 1+ hour line: Baton d'Or and Happy Joy, a snazzy version of good old #Pocky and #HappyTurn, respectively. FYI the other major brand i didn't get round to grab was extra fancy Calbee potato chips.
little bites from osaka's echire butter shop: omelette beurre (fluffy sponge filled with milky buttercream); kouign amann; and two kinds of cookies. i've been to their shop in tokyo but the lineup was fairly different and i wanted to try some new-to-me things. the one i *had* had before in tokyo but was eager to pick up again was the round cookie they call 'galette' here; outrageously expensive and outrageously delicious. from Echire Marche au Beurre, basement 2nd floor, Hankyu Umeda dept. store. #marcheaubeurre #エシレマルシェオブール
an assortment of bread and pastries from select bakeries (mostly) in Kobe: Ca Marche, Isuzu Bakery, Comme Chinois, Marmelo, Le Pan, Freundlieb, and es Boulangerie (by Es Koyama). in case it wasn't obvious from the barrage of pics i put up yesterday (sorry!), the theme of my day in Kobe was bakery hopping. in addition to those i posted about, we went to a few more, including one that was completely sold out for the day by the time we arrived (Riki). it was both very fun and frustrating - fun to check out so many delicious looking breads, frustrating because there was only so much i could reasonably take back to Tokyo and then to Nagano. but mostly fun, especially i had a great friend of mine in Kobe (who i hadn't seen in about five years!) showing me around. thanks T for spending the day with me and looking after me.. i'll come back with more room in my luggage and stomach!! xx
神戸でパン屋めぐりの戦利品。高レベルなパン屋とパンが多すぎて選ぶのが本当に大変。。予定を組んであちこち連れていってくれたお友達には大感謝です。楽しかった〜 どうもありがとう！！ 次はもっと食べるよ😆
my visit to a city wouldn't be complete without a stop by at least one coffee shop - or, in this case, a coffee roaster. even if it's a teeny weeny one (which i think was one of their charms). @beyondcoffee_bunn
fresh herb infusion, with lemongrass, apple mint and hoary basil. citrusy, soothing and refreshing, just what the doctor ordered. i was feeling a little under the weather and didn't eat anything there (but did pick up a couple of small rolls.. :p), but the small but hearty lunch set my friend had looked great too.
after all that bakery hopping, sitting down for a little bites (and a chat!) at this charming little cafe / bakery / shop that is located at rather an unexpected place, up on the 5th floor of a small building just off the big street..
got into downtown Kobe, and our first stop was an early 20th century church turned into german bakery and cafe, beautifully decked for christmas. didn't have time (or room in our stomach) to wait in the long line to get into the cafe, but would be lovely to sit down and have a cup of tea or something in there. #freundlieb #フロインドリーブ