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COOKIE!!!タイトルをクリックしてください

    I wrote about White Day last March.  So I won't repeat myself again.  This week is a week of baking and saying thank you to all my wonderful students.  Look forward to tasting some of these cookies this week.  More later.  I will post some of the recipes tonight.  No time now. Good Evening.  Here are the recipes: Missouri Cookies Image result for missouri cookies


 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick oats (aka 1 minute oats)

Preparation

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter then whisk in the sugar, cocoa, milk and salt. Turn the heat to high and boil mixture for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. 2. Stir the peanut butter and vanilla into the chocolate. Add the oats and stir until well combined. 3. Using a small ice cream scoop or a 1 tablespoon measure, form dough into cookies( they can be flattened into cookies or into balls) and place on parchment paper to cool. 4. Allow to cool 30 - 45 minutes.

BAKER'S Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • BAKER'S Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Image 1

This is our go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. When you have a craving for a classic chocolate chip cookie, bake up a batch of these!
 
  • Heat oven to 375°F.
  • Beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in flour and baking soda until well blended. Add chocolate chips; mix well.
  • Drop tablespoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.
  • Bake 10 to 12 min. or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet 3 min. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
 
Tea CookiesImage result for tea cookies
Ingredients

Directions

 
  1. Beat together the butter and confectioners' sugar till creamy. Add vanilla.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients, stir into creamy mixture. Blend well.
  3. Add the nuts, mix well, roll the dough out into two balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  4. Flatten dough out and cut into 15 or 20 equal size pieces, shape into balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes till firm but not brown. While still warm roll into confectioners' sugar, let cool and roll again.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  1. Cream butter, peanut butter and both sugars together.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.
  3. Add baking soda, powder and vanilla.
  4. Stir in flour.
  5. Roll into balls, roll in sugar. Flatten cookies, using a fork, in a criss-cross pattern.
  6. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes or adjust to suit your oven and size of cookies!

     

Happy COOKING


A day trip to Kosaka Townタイトルをクリックしてください

Do you get cabin fever?  I do!  With the weather getting warmer and the snow melting, I really wanted to get out yesterday.  I didn't have a lot of time, somewhere not too far, but also not too near.  I finally decided on Kosaka Town.  NHK had a short special about Akita, Friday night, that I happened to watch.  They showed the Kosaka Mining office and the Kabuki Theater. We left around 10:00 a.m. (a late start), and arrived at the theater at noon.  Faster than I expected.  The road from Akita to Kosaka has gotten much better!  I was surprised that we were the only visitors at that time, but it allowed us to do and see many things that are not included in a normal tour.  Here are a few pictures:

Korakukan Theater
Built in 1910, the Korakukan was designated as a National Important Cultural Property of Japan in 2002. It is the largest existing wooden theater and one of the oldest surviving wooden Kabuki theaters in Japan.  Tours and performances are held daily from April to November. The daily shows however, are not considered “true kabuki” as it often incorporates humor and contemporary themes. But rather, the shows are a mix of a kabuki, singing, dancing and rakugo style comedy.
  Inside the Korakukan (seating capacity 600) Beneath the stage.  This is  the rotating stage mechanism.  Yes we rotated it! I was able to try on some of the costumes.    This is Meiji Street in front of the theater. Kosaka Mine Office The Kosaka Mine Office was built in 1905 and used as the head office of Kosaka Smelting and Refining Co. Ltd. until 1990. In 1997, the Mine Office was scheduled to be destroyed to make way for a new smelter, but instead it was donated to the town. The Mine Office was disassembled and rebuilt next to the Korakukan.  The Mine Office was designated as a National Important Cultural Property of Japan in 2002.  The counting office. Beautiful spiral staircase Muslim inspired balcony.
Nanataki Waterfall
Along the Jukai Line (highway) towards Lake Towada is Nanataki Waterfall, a 60 meter high waterfall.
Denren Jo After a nice dinner and a stop at the new Futatsui Machi Michi no Eki, we arrived home around 7:00 p.m.   I learned many interesting things about Kosaka.  Did you know it used to be the 2nd largest city in Akita Prefecture?  It had the first electricity, water works, and private railroad in Tohoku.  Also the first Christmas was celebrated there. I had a wonderful time and can recommend this short trip to anyone. For more information. see here: http://www.town.kosaka.akita.jp/


Valentine's Dayタイトルをクリックしてください

Image result for mickey minnie valentines day Happy Valentine's Day! Do you enjoy Valentine's Day, or do you think it's just another excuse for stores to sell more chocolate? I want to talk about the difference in Valentine's Day in Japan and America.

  1. In America men and women exchange Valentine's on the same day, there is no White Day.Image result for giving a valentine
  2. In America there is no "giri choco' (duty chocolate).  The first time I was given this was a shock to me.  I looked up the word "giri" in my Japanese dictionary and was so disappointed.Image result for 義理チョコ
  3. We have a school Valentine's dance starting around the 6th grade.  I can still remember my first dance.  So shy, so exciting!Image result for middle school valentines dance
  4. School children in America typically give a Valentine's card to every member of their class. (maybe THIS is America's "giri choco"?)  These cards are put in a special handmade box at school.Image result for valentines post box
  5. Usually, a couple, husband-wife, boyfriend-girlfriend, etc, will plan a special date for Valentine's Day.  A nice dinner, a nice dance, a nice card etc. . . .Image result for valentines dinner date
I have many nice memories as a young child of leaving cookies, or candies on the steps of my neighborhood friends, ringing the doorbell and then running away.Image result for leaving valentine on the porch I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day.


Setsubunタイトルをクリックしてください

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sm5CBxN_Ig&t=20s Happy Setsubun!!!  (???)  What is the proper setsubun greeting?  I have no idea.  Do you have any plans for setsubun this year? Are you going to eat an ehomaki sushi roll while facing east by northeast, without talking until  you finish the whole thing?  I don't understand why this tradition has become so popular in Akita. Are you going to throw beans or peanuts  around your house while shouting "Demons out, blessings in!"? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PzyIa3w6v0 Or, like me, are you going to relax at home and not think much about it?  Whatever you do, I hope you have a nice relaxing weekend . . . like this: Finally, here are a few English idioms about beans.

  1. He got hit in the bean. (head)
  2. President Trump is full of beans!  (all nonsense)
  3. Is your wife a bean counter?  (someone who watches money very closely)
  4. I don't know beans about chemistry! (I know nothing about it)
  5. Trump's advice isn't worth a hill of beans. (no value)

BEANS      BEANS      BEANS

Image result for beans Image result for beans Image result for beans Image result for beans


HAI-SAI!タイトルをクリックしてください

My wife and I had a wonderful three days in Okinawa last Sun, Mon, Tues.  The weather was warm and sunny (20-23°). I want to share a few photos with you. Our first meal, delicious taco rice. Happy Cliff Churaumi Aquarium   Emerald Beach Traditional Okinawan houses (Okinawa Village) Okinawa Village A romantic dinner at Rizzan Sea Park Hotel Okinawa dance show at Rizzan Sea Park Hotel The view from our hotel room Shurijo Castle Gyokusendo Cave Our last meal at Naha Airport, A&W hamburgers and root beer. Beautiful Orchids at Naha Airport.  I hope you all have the chance to visit Okinawa in the winter.  Going from cold Akita to warm Okinawa in January is so nice. Sorry Okinawa, but I still think Oga is more beautiful.  


Christmas movies final: It's A Wonderful Lifeタイトルをクリックしてください

I spent the last week baking cookies and preparing for my "post" Christmas parties.  I'm finally all finished, and enjoying the end of the year here at home with my family. Thank you all for making this a wonderful year.  I hope 2019 is a great year for all of us. My final movie of the year, and maybe of this whole series is:  It's A Wonderful Life.  This is the third time to use this movie.  I guess you can see how much I like it.  Anyway, a new scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNQ76UyurLA GEORGE Look, who are you? CLARENCE I told you, George. I'm your guardian angel. GEORGE Yeah, yeah, I know. You told me that. What else are you?  What . . . are you a hypnotist? CLARENCE No, of course not. GEORGE Well then, why am I seeing all these strange things? CLARENCE Don't you understand, George? It's because you were not born. GEORGE Then if I wasn't born, who am I? CLARENCE You're nobody. You have no identity. GEORGE What do you mean, no identity? My name's George Bailey. CLARENCE There is no George Bailey. You have no papers, no cards, no driver's license, no 4-F card, no insurance policy . . . CLARENCE They're not there, either. GEORGE What? CLARENCE Zuzu's petals. CLARENCE You've been given a great gift, George. A chance to see what the world would be like without you. GEORGE Now wait a minute, here. Wait a minute here. This is some sort of a funny dream I'm having here. So long, mister, I'm going home. CLARENCE Home? What home? GEORGE Now shut up! Cut it out! You're . . . you're . . . you're crazy! That's what I think . . . you're screwy, and you're driving me crazy, too! I'm seeing things. I'm going home and see my wife and family. Do you understand that? And I'm going home alone! Key Phrase: You've been given a great gift, George. A chance to see what the world would be like without you. Sometimes it's hard to see or imagine the far-reaching effects each of us has on the world.  This movie brings out that point. I want a chance to see what America would be like without President Trump.  Maybe this year, my wish will come true? See you all next year!                                                                                                


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