Okonomiyaki

Grilled as you like it

Home for the holidays February 16, 2009

kitchen
The Kitchen, Boulder, Colorado

We went home for 17 days over the winter holidays. What a great trip it was. Of course, we tried our best to fill up on all of the things we can’t get in Japan. Mexican food was at the top of our list. Here are some highlights from our trip. We had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Boulder, The Kitchen. I love that they have great local ingredients and that they’re not afraid to share their recipes on their website. They know that a great restaurant is more than just the recipes.

savory-spice

We picked up lots of bulk spices at great prices at Savory Spice Shop. This was the first time that I had been to their new(ish) Boulder store. It’s much brighter and more spacious than the adorable Denver shop. It seems like they are always improving their selection, and everything that I’ve gotten from there has been great. This time we picked up all of the spices that we thought we might need in the next year-and-a-half. We stocked up on spices for making Mexican food in particular, and more of our favorite locally inspired blend, Lodo Red Adobo.

pekoe

After visiting Savory Spice we headed to Pekoe Sip House for our favorite teas. Although there is plenty of green tea in Japan, the selection of black tea is not as good and it’s expensive too. So we stocked up on our favorite teas like Herbal Madras, Evening in Missoula, Forbidden Fruits, Ceylon, and Lilioukalani.

brasserie1

Later in the week we had brunch at Brasserie Ten Ten in Boulder. Alex has declared their burger to be the best in town.

brasserie2

We also enjoyed a plate of beignets, and in the background you can see my mom’s homemade scones that she snuck in to the restaurant too.

z-cuisine

One of our last meals on our trip was dinner at Z Cuisine in Denver, an intimate French bistro. The food and atmosphere were fantastic, as always. I highly recommend their cassoulet and crepes.

energy-drinks

Powell’s Sweet Shop on Pearl Street has a display of novelty energy drinks including this Domo-kun drink (and Futurama’s Slurm).

spinach-pizza

Of course, our trip wasn’t just gourmet dining. We also enjoyed plenty of pizza. This is the fantastic stuffed spinach pizza at Pulcinella in Lafayette.

in-n-out

I didn’t get a bite of Alex’s Brasserie burger, so we had to stop at In-N-Out while we were visiting my grandparent’s in L.A. That’s what a hamburger’s all about!

in-n-out2
In-N-Out Double Double and fries

littlejohns

L.A. Times’s food writers were raving about Littlejohn’s Toffee in the food section leading up to the holidays, so that’s where we went to get our omiyage (souvenirs for friend and coworkers, a necessary expense when you take time off work in Japan). The food writers were right, it is delicious. Littlejohn’s is in the Los Angeles Farmers’ Market. While we were there, we also enjoyed some more Mexican food at Loteria!

gingerbread

Here is Vince’s amazing gingerbread masonry cottage. Isn’t it beautiful?

gingerbread2

bread1

I also got a bread making lesson from my mom. Here we are shaping a loaf of whole-grain sourdough.

bread2

Here is the finished loaf. As you can see, my vent-cutting technique could still use a little work.

I thought making tofu and New Year’s at grandma and grandpa’s deserved their own post, so keep an eye out for those in the future. To see more from our trip, check out Alex’s photos at alexanderlaws.wordpress.com

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