Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sundays are for Service, Friends and Cooking....

09:30 found the whole family at the Protestant Parish Townhall meeting. Seasons bring change and today we discussed four changes coming to our chapel....a family fellowship night, small groups, AWANAS (not new but new info and a registration fee) and a family integrated RE program.

We went directly from Town Hall to Worship Service. Arielle served in the nursery. Stacia was thrilled to get to sit with Ms Marvie and Ashley....I love, love, love Michael preaching through I Peter. I am a bit concerned he won't reach his goal of finishing the book before we PCS. Today we covered I Peter 2:4-5.

We are letting each family member pick a Sunday restaurant. Today was Stacia's Sunday. She picked a place we've not been for 3 months - my favorite - Karinbas....but WOW it was hard to find something VEGAN to eat. It wasn't as hard to resist the sweet and sour chicken as I thought it would be....but I've decided I will go back and eat it at least one more time before we leave and eat the chicken - if I want. LOL  I held up the show as they gave the "routine order" and  I was still trying to find something that 1. was vegan and 2. didn't have shell fish, which I can't eat.  Tuesday, Melissa, Jaycob and our family went to Lakeview Grill and it was easier THERE to find something. ::snort:: Anyway - I decided against the "braised vegetables with added ingredients" and went for "braised vegetables with vermicelli" was yummy...until I found the layer of ground up meat. ::snort:: The egg roll with some pilfered sweet and sour sauce was great.

It's been a rainy afternoon. We're supposed to get our first typhoon of the year in about an hour. While the kids played....I tried new recipes (as you may have guessed from the  previous posts).

Mckenzie likes to hang out and we love having her hang out. She goes to PYOC with us too. 

Yuuki was DETERMINED to stay under Arielle. ::snort:: 

Meanwhile I tried out three new vegan recipes,  Coconut Milk Scones, Hot Fudge Lara Bars and homemade hardshell. This means I got over my fear of dates and I've got plenty of vegan snacks. I also overloaded the mini-food processor and began looking for the Bosch food processor for my very old Bosch Universal. 

Just because he's home and it's fun to grab a photo. LOL 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Coconut Milk Scones - Vegan (Art of Dessert)

Makes 8-12 scones 
See the original here....great photos. 

2 C all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1/3 C sugar (Rapadura)
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp. orange zest (opt - or use vanilla or lemon zest)
1 1/4 C canned coconut milk (cold)
1 C dried fruit (I used cranberries)

Coconut milk

Preheat oven to 425*.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour in coconut milk. Gently mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Fold in fruit (or chocolate chips etc).

Move dough onto a floured surface and shape into a circle about 3/4 in in thickness. Cut into 3 or 12 wedges. Place on greased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Brush top with coconut milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 15-20 min or until golden brown. Serve warm or store in a container after they are completely cooled.

I planned on making 1/2 with craisins and 1/2 with chocolate...but got distracted and mixed it all together. Stacia and I like them.  These are not as cakey as I'd like....but then I used 100% whole wheat and that will make things dry....maybe I'll add a bit more milk next time.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Homemade Hardshell (Vegan)

This is EASY, yummy, and I feel good knowing what's in it. I didn't have ice cream but the kids tell me it's good.  I found this recipe here

1 C of chocolate chips 
2 T Coconut oil

Directions: Melt the chips and oil together. 30 seconds in a microwave, heat and stir until smooth (or leave chunks like we did). Cool to room temp. Store in an airtight container. 

More yummy eats on the recipe page. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Friendship Tea Party

TODAY was THE big day! Today was the New Friends Garden Tea Party....except it started raining - our first typhoon is on it's way.  Michael had warned me before he left for the chapel that a pinata wouldn't be a good idea in the rain. ::snort::  Nolan and Arielle were CHAMPS at helping me to execute plan B.

We cleared out our dining room......

No, the table isn't ALWAYS in the kitchen...but it did make things very convenient today. Arielle made cute little sandwiches and cut them in flower shapes.

We moved the big folding table into the dining room....and set it prettily.....

The patio table fit into the dining room and served well for a food table. 

Three of the seven guests - note the PWOC target - aiming for the bull's eye (Could've moved my desk clutter)

All the guests....

The older crowd

Pin the flower on the butterfly....

 Board games....

It really was a great day. Not only did we get to visit with friends....but I got the house clean. ::snort:: Stacia was in 7th heaven. She made two to welcome the guests and talk a bit about friendship, and one when we gave them their tea cups to take home.  Both girls had a few friends over - worked out well. Dawn and Marvie came to visit with me - which worked out WONDERFULLY for me. ::grin::  I discovered Dawn was vegan, which made me happy that I'd made hummus, put out veggie sticks, made the apple bread vegan (coconut oil instead of butter, flax seed and water in place of eggs) and had a bowl of fruit. The boys got to take the old TV into their room and play play station - which they loved. 

We still have a pinata to use on the next non-rainy day. 

We ended out the day with a quick dinner.  I could not believe I stir fried a whole PAN of veggies and ate them over pasta...yum. The kids had the pasta and sauce - no veggies for them. 

Two more chapters in the Gift of the Mikado...we'll finish that by early next week and need to decide what to read next. 

Michael is home....tomorrow will be a busy. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Inakadate Village Tanbo Art

Sunday we showed you photos of the Tanbo Art at Inakadate from the ground. TODAY...the kids and I went back. Sunday will be the last day before they harvest the rice. They close at 4:00 or 4:30. I'll post directions at the end of this post....this was our first "Friday Field Trip of the school year." We learned about rice production, various kinds of rice and community projects. 

We DID it! It did NOT take me 3 hours. It took 1 hour and 55 minutes up and 1 hour and 45 minutes home (I live 15 min beyond base).  

One thing you learn to do well in Japan is back up. These spots were narrow, and it was made more difficult as the little car on the right was over my line. LOL Mainly, we want a photo of our little adventure mobile. We were talking today how happy we are Michael bought a small car we could all fit in for me to use in our exploration. 

The view from HERE was better....than the one from the  top of the car.  It DID cost Y300 - 400 to go to the top of the tower. 

Field without rice art...

Field with rice art...

What do YOU think? Male/ Female????

Close-up of the rice.

Quite a talent to get funny faces from ALL four in the same pic. ::snort:: 

Really love our adventure much easier to drive than a diesel van....and much easier to do u-turns with too. 

We stopped at the big playground and discovered a local school had done the same. LOL It is Y300 to play....

Another Y200 yen per person and we went to the top of THIS tower......

Zander and I played 18 holes of mini golf (Y300 each). 

The other 3 braved the playground and were MOBBED - but had a good time.

This is a spider web like climbing structure. Arielle and Nolan got trapped in the pockets and had quite the time getting out. At one point they worried they'd have to have someone come cut them out. 

Nolan is free....

...and trying to help Arielle!

RVing is popular world wide

Back at home, I made a single serving white cake and used a bit of the reeses frosting...TEA was called for.  I heated the frosting - not the best plan. LOL
 It was a fun day! We learned that the whole community comes out to plant the fields. We'd like to go back on the day they plant in the spring.

I combined three directions to get their via the toll road. You can do this without tolls, through the mountains, but Michael was more comfortable with us taking the toll roads as we were going alone.  The link seems down to the 35FSS driving directions...but they're there. It's a BEAUTIFUL drive - but VERY twisty if you happen to have those who get motion sickness. The tolls run approx Y2000 EACH WAY.


Route 8 for 17.4 KM to the traffic light, turn left.

Proceed over bridge and up the road for .7 km, turn right.

Continue straight on this road, at 5.7 km you will cross route 4. In 20 km you will come upon the toll gate. The rest area is just before the toll gate.

After the toll gate begins route 123.

Turn left at the green sign denoting AOMORI HIGASHI IC

Get on the toll road (Aomori Expressway - Tohoku Expressway).

Get off at Kuroishi IC (Exit 52) and take Rte 102 towards Hirosaki City.

Go through Kuroishi on route 102 there will be a white sign that says Inakadate to the left.  This is a rest stop with a huge playground

Go to the next light, you will see a blue sign that says Inakadate. Turn right.

Turn left at the T.

You will see a red Torii Gate - turn right at the next corner.

You will see the tall tower (See photo above).

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...