23 August 2012


Lessons Learned from Google this morning: you can't just type 'best smoothie recipe' into the search bar all willy-nilly and have anything worthwhile come up. True, you may stumble upon Green Smoothie Blog or CookingAllergyFree.com, and while you may be willing to click on those sites, they seemed a bit annoying and healthy for me this morning. I'm new to the smoothie bandwagon, falling in love after my last trip to Thailand, and I am more interested in them tasting good than anything else. Actually, I am always more interested in taste than health, and if I were to tattoo a saying on my body, that one just may be it.

With a freezer filled with frozen fruit (I'm trying to keep this habit affordable in a country that believes apples should cost ¥400 each), I want to believe I can recreate Southeast Asian Island goodness. I know young coconuts are out of the question, but as it feels tropical outside with our 85% humidity, I can at least come up with a decent smoothie, right?

In times like this, you can't rely on amateurs or health nuts. I pulled out the big guns, opened up Smitten Kitchen, and went to a woman who has eleven brownie recipes on her blog.

Unfortunately, she doesn't write about smoothies. Except in how her pink lemonade bar filling could be a delightful addition to a smoothie. Sigh.

Now I'm on my own. Winging it with pineapples, carrots, and ginger (I had it once! It was good -- Swear!). Or a bag of frozen raspberries, to which I'm adding lemon and bananas and perhaps, maybe, peanut butter, though I can't decide if that would be gross or not.

Also learned today: immersion blenders make awesome smoothies and do not make you want to kill yourself with the cleanup. I know, I know. Give me ten more minutes, and I'll think myself the World Smoothie Guru.


I can feel a change in weather coming, just around the corner. Maybe it's simple desperation after weeks and weeks of oppressive heat and humidity. Perhaps I'm willing to read into any small sign that Fall is on it's way. Perhaps there is something there, and the early mornings really are a tad cooler, the evening air a bit lighter. The cicadas are slowly growing quiet (and dropping dead all over our neighborhood, including my balcony, where I leave their carcasses for Amos to pick up.) Thank the Lord, at least for the silence, and not so much for the exoskeletons on the sidewalk.

I once heard the Japanese summers described as long, and that simple description seems the most accurate. Long. I've enjoyed the opportunity to wear shorts and tanks, to really feel like it's SUMMER and not a warm spring, as the season can appear in the PNW. Every time we go out at night and I don't have to take a cardigan sweater, my stomach does a little flip of excitement. I've been focusing on this, appreciative of this, remembering nights back home when grabbing drinks on an August night was an activity that required a blanket wrapped around your legs. But my cheeks and shoulders are sunned out, and I'm dying to retire those thin tank-tops I've been wearing under every shirt in an effort to keep sweat from seeping through (Gross, but totally true). I can't wait to have our windows open again and be able to drink my morning cup of coffee outside. I also sincerely hope that my motivation returns at some point. Summer here was made for sitting down and drinking mujicha, and doing not much else. I have certainly obliged, but it would be nice to be productive once again.

Fall. Enter stage right.

I love fall. I love sweaters and layers and scarfs and boots. I love the crisp changing leaves that you can smell. Fall is a season, more than any other, that I feel in my bones. One of my favorite things about Japan is the four seasons. (It's also one of my few gripes about Seattle.) While we may not have the apple season we have back in Washington, I've heard that figs and persimmons are on their way in, and that sounds so good. (Also: what is a persimmon?)


Amos and I have been married a year. In some ways, it feels like "Yes, it has definitly been a year." I mean, we moved across the world, for heaven's sake. In other ways, it feels like it flew by in a blink. I got sad on our anniversary, thinking about how fast it had gone and how much faster each year will seem then the last. I wanted to be a kid again, when days seem infinite and the years long enough you need to add half-yearly intervals to your age: I am six and three-quarters. These days I forget my own age (27? 28? or 26? I'm not even kidding right now). One day our wedding, so fresh in my mind, will be ancient history.  The same with our time at Gonzaga, our first apartment in Seattle... even our time in Japan will one day be relegated to faded memories that only Amos and I share.

(It's my genetic predisposition to be uncomfortable when faced with tremendous happiness. Sometimes my morose Irish genes just take over. Luckily, I live in the modern world, complete with therapy, Matcha Frappucinos, and a very lovely husband, so I get over myself pretty quickly.)


Megs and I went to the kombini every single night she was here, and since she's left, I've been a on a diet. By diet, I mean no beer or fried chicken in a cup. I know, I'm like so super strict you guys. I am still allowing myself chocolate because I firmly believe in the importance of tapering and moderation. Is it still moderation when you eat Kit-Kats, Meiji Chocolate Almonds, and Grapefruit gummies all in one day? I hope so. Also, when beers are ¥650 and lime & soda waters are ¥800, is the Universe trying to tell you something?


  1. Okay, let's talk.

    Let's talk smoothies. They have become an almost daily staple for me. I throw different stuff in them all the time. Safest bet includes a banana, some oj, and berries. BAM. Smoothie. But I'll also throw any leftover fruit in there. Kiwi? In the smoothie! Grapes? In the smoothie! Plums? In the smoothie! Persimmon? That's right -- in it goes! (Although I really wouldn't put persimmon in there because the orange-y ones have a pretty cool texture and are sweet and nommy on their own.) When I have enough kale, I throw that in as well. Healthy AND you can't even taste it? Win-win. Honestly, it's really hard to go wrong with a smoothie. Well, maybe don't put any meat in one. I've never made one with an immersion blender though. I think because sometimes I make a ton and just leave the rest in the pitcher part of the blender and put it in the fridge.

    Let's also talk fall. I can feel it here as well -- the nights and mornings are much cooler; I've had to bring the blanket out for the bed. I love summer, but we've had a nice, long, hot summer here as well, so it's definitely time for the long pants, the hand knits, the warm socks. I'm also hoping for a snowy, snowy winter, but that's another story.

    Now I need a bathroom break.

  2. Aren't immersion blenders just the best?? Good luck in the hunt for the perfect smoothie - I too, have tried to recreate the heaven that's found in SE Asian smoothies... to no avail! I think it has something to do with all the FRESH pineapple and mango they use. Not to be found here in Nagoya. Sigh. :/ At any rate, I make smoothies a few days a week and usually use frozen fruit, plain yogurt (gives it a nice texture and adds some good nutritional stuff, and juice. My fave is frozen mangoes, yogurt, and oj. Oh! And I tried putting egg white in once (they do that in Cambodia) and it wasn't too bad!
    (Now I know why you were skipping beer last night ;)

  3. 1. immersion blenders are the biz, but I've never thought of using them for smoothies. YESSSSSSSSS.
    2. fall can't get here fast enough. for serious. even though it's still in the 90s here, the heat has broken and it's just such a tease.
    3. congrats! happy anniversary!!!
    4. cute skirt/dress in the first photo!

    k bai.


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