The Place Where You Belong: Chicken and Shrimp Gratin from Natsume Yuujinchou

Gratin - Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou 09 - 01I’ve been watching Natsume Yuujinchou lately, and have been absolutely loving the series. It’s calming, gentle, and tinged with a bit of sadness. It has a wonderful cast that I have grown to really love over the course of its 4 seasons. As a homage to the series, I really wanted to showcase a recipe from the anime, but I wasn’t sure what to do… that was until I saw episode 9 of Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou and I just knew I had to share with you the recipe for deliciously heartwarming chicken and shrimp gratin! Continue reading

Hazelnuts Meet Dark Chocolate to Create the Enchanting Italian Cookie, Baci di Dama (Lady’s Kisses)

Baci di Dama - Arcana Fagmilia 03 - 01When I first saw these adorable little cookies on an episode of Arcana Famiglia, I knew I just had to make them… Made of two hazelnut cookies with a smear of dark chocolate to hold it all together, these bite sized sandwich cookies offer plenty of crunch, texture, and a subtle sweetness that pairs wonderfully with tea and coffee.

Called baci di dama, or lady’s kisses, because they resemble pursed lips ready for a kiss, these cookies originate from Italy… making them an appropriate little treat to be featured in the Italian-inspired anime of the Arcana Famiglia. Continue reading

Bringing Balance to Every Meal with Classic Potato Salad

Potato Salad - Mirai Nikki 15Let me preface this post with the confession that I’ve never really loved potato salad. When I see it at summer barbecues, beach parties, or cafeterias, I avoid it like nothing else. There’s something about lumpy potatoes smothered in gloppy mayonnaise that just doesn’t appeal to me, which is why I’ve been avoiding making this dish for so long, despite the fact that it is so commonly found in anime…

But, after seeing it so often in such anime as Mirai Nikki, Noragami, Kill la Kill, and Psycho-Pass (among others), I decided to make it…. and, guess what? It was actually very tasty and surprisingly addictive! This version of potato salad contains plenty of vegetables, including corn, peas, and carrots. Thinly sliced cucumber provides a nice crunch, which compliments the smooth and creamy potatoes. Add sliced ham, bacon, or hard boiled eggs to the mix, and you have yourself a filling side dish! Continue reading

Bringing Home the Holiday Cheer with a Batch of Gingerbread

Gingerbread - Yumeiro Patisserie 07 - ResizeOne of my traditions at Christmas that I make sure to do every year without fail is to make and decorate gingerbread cookies. Crisp and sweet, with a ginger and cinnamon flavour that melds with the syrupy taste of rich molasses, for me, gingerbread signifies Christmas just as much as falling snow, brightly decorated trees, and striped candy canes…

In anime, gingerbread isn’t something that is often seen, and its absence from the anime Christmas landscape seems to indicate that its consumption is not so widespread in Japan…. Instead, something like the infamous Christmas cake is far more popular. That said, gingerbread does show up, though often in the most unlikely places, including Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Yumeiro Patissiere. Continue reading

Whether it’s “McRonalds” or “Max Burger”, There’s Always Time for a Hamburger with Friends

Hamburgers - Hataraku Maou Sama 10 - 02I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have seen “McRonalds”, “WcRonalds” (or some equivalent) or “Max Burger” (a play on Mos Burger, a popular fast food hamburger chain in Japan) featured in anime… All those scenes of cute high school girls, groups of best friends, and the just plain hungry hanging out in burger joints and eating big, delectable looking hamburgers full of cheese, tomato, lettuce, and smothered in all sorts of yummy sauces never fails me make me hungry….

Most recently, I caught some really great scenes involving hamburgers in K-On!, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika, and Paprika, but the funniest use of hamburgers in recent memory can be found in Hataraku Maou-sama, episode 10, where the size of a giant double patty burger and flat single patty burger are used to compare Emi and Chiho’s breast sizes for maximum comedic effect…. Continue reading

Pasta Carbonara is an Easy Weeknight Meal that’s Sure to Impress!

Pasta Carbonara - Tamako Market 03 - 01Pasta carbonara may sound like some fancy Italian dish that will inevitably be full of ingredients you’ve never heard of, but don’t let the name fool you: in a pinch, this meal can be whipped up in almost no time at all… and it tastes delicious! Which is probably why it’s so often featured in anime as a meal that even a high schooler can make, and anyone (even a bird?) will love.

Let’s take, for example, episode 3 of Tamako Market when Shiori coincidentally visits Tamako’s house and ends up staying and making pasta carbonara for dinner for Tamako’s family. They’re all notably impressed by the fancy dinner prepared for them, and shower Shiori with warm praise and appreciation. Of course, this anime is more known for mochi than any other dish, but the fact that this pasta dish gets a good amount of screen-time certainly says something to it’s general popularity. Continue reading

Joining the Arcana Famiglia with a Slice of Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie - Arcana Famiglia 5 - 01There’s nothing that says family like a freshly baked lemon meringue pie shared amongst all…

In episode 5 of Arcana Famiglia, the cast enjoys a lemon meringue pie (called “limone pie” in the anime) baked by Luca and Felicita. Dante explains that the pies that Luca bakes are so good that they hold their own against those sold in specialty shops…

But, while the majority of the cast simply see the pie as a delicious treat, for Nova, lemon meringue pie is an important reminder of the day that he entered the Arcana Famiglia organization… In a flashback, he remembers meeting Felicita for the first time. Though shy and reserved at first, he begins to open up when Felicita offered him a slice of lemon meringue pie with a sweet smile. Sitting with Felicita, and her parents, Mondo and Sumire, Nova becomes part of the family… Continue reading