Anisa sensei (chef Anisa in disguise) strikes again

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First off, I want to say that I’m in the wrong country for food art. Seriously guys, how can anything I make shine, when my neighbor, the supermom, is making Tottoros from seaweed and rice?!

Next, that for the first time in my 23 years of life, I am actually feeling the festive side of Christmas. No, I’m not the Grinch in disguise, I was just born in Iran. Growing up, I had learnt of Christianity during Baha’i Children’s Class but I’d never encountered the festive side of the Birth of Christ. That is, until we arrived in NZ and witnessed everyone becoming super excited over a day which we knew nothing about and I always always felt left out. It seemed to me that everyone was decorating trees, baking gingerbread houses and filling out Christmas cards and I was not. In fact, I think about 13 Christmases came and passed where my family simply treated the day as an inconvenient one where everything was shut.

Later, when I started dating a Kiwi and later again, when my sister became married to one, we experienced the festive side of Christmas through them and their families, for the very first time.

This year, not only am I going to have a white Christmas in JAPON but I’ll be spending it with my dear dear sister and brother-in-law who are coming to visit in exactly five days, FIVE! If there’s anything I’ve learnt from living this crazy difficult adventurous life in rural Japan, it’s that the most important thing in life is being with loved ones.

Christmas Oats:
1/2 cup oats, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger powder, 1 tsp pure maple syrup. Stir on low until ready. To serve, top with fresh Christmas themed fruit and natural peanut butter.

Kinako (soybean powder) Cookies:
I used this (For Diets! Super Easy Kinako Cookies), cookie recipe and simply added raisins to one batch and sesame seeds to the other for variety.

Barley Chocolate Chip Cookies:
I used Erin’s cookie recipe and added macadamia nuts, too.

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