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Great blog. I love hearing about the celebrations and food.

Just wondering, what kind of camera do you use to take those pretty pictures here? Thanks.


Forgive my ignorance...I am a cooking novice...especially here in Japan, but could you give us the recipe for the cream sauce? It looks delicious! :)

I also want to try your oyster recipe! Yum!


haha that's such a great idea! Business before eating...and the meal looks absolutely delicious, butter and garlic is how I like my seafood, oysters and all!


Looks delicious! Thanks for a lovely blog!


Wow Amy! You impress every time. Valentine's breakfast, and Valentine's dinner.
I don't know if you ever tried Tojo's Restaurant when you lived in Vancouver, but he's moved to a new place. Neither the old nor the new place are particularly romantic, but Aiko and I went last night for his signature omakase. His head waiter is still there since the last time I went. I was surprised and relieved to see him. He has a great sense of humour. I think I misjudged Tojo-san the first time. We'll probably go again soon.
I've eaten smoked oysters from a very young age, and had no problem. Raw oysters are no problem also as I recall. But pan-fried or deep fried are not good for my stomach. Actually, Aiko told me that in Japan - eating too many oysters or eating them too often is considered bad for health reasons. Have you heard that?

Frances Fung

Glad to know you have had a wonderful Valentine's day. Interesting suggestions.

And thanks for your tips on those pictures. Yes, I know you have been using the Pentax Optio type camera.

It's just amazing to me that you can capture such great pictures (so sharp and clear) with just a little simple not so popular camera ... assuming you don't fix your pictures with Photoshop or anything like that. I think you are just a great photographer. You have made me believe we don't need fancy expensive camera to take great pictures.

I wasn't aware of the ability of Pentax cameras until I have started reading your blog. I have been a Canon user all along. But now I just got myself a Pentax Optio W60 and will see what I can make out of it.

I will continue to be your loyal blogreader. Thanks again.


LOL! I'm glad someone finally points out the folly of the usual Valentine's day schedule! Love your blog, the food looks amazing.


Looks like I'm not the only one who would like to know the secret of the cream sauce :) Will it be forthcoming? ;)


...sounds as though you had a wonderful Valentine's Day...I am impressed...food looks yummy and seems fun was had by all...tee hee

Mari L'Esperance

You make Valentine's Day sound positively... sexy! That is, up to the cream sauce-doused beef, which looks absolutely delicious, but I felt full just looking at it. This, of course, explains the importance of "business" before "pleasure" (or whatever...!). Thanks, as always, for your beautiful and well-written blog. It is one of only a small handful that I return to again and again.


Thanks for the comments!

Tomobe, I use a Pentax Optio W30.

Kathy and An9ie, I don't exactly have a recipe for the cream sauce, but these are the basic instructions: after cooking the steaks remove them and keep warm; in the same pan saute a couple of shallots (or half an onion) in butter until soft, then add about two cups of mixed mushrooms and saute until they start to soften. Add a splash of cognac or wine and burn off the alcohol, then add half a cup of heavy cream and a bit of mustard, and worcestershire sauce, and simmer for several minutes, until the sauce has reduced to your liking. Just before serving plate the steaks and pour any juice from the steak into the sauce (reduce a little more if necessary), taste the sauce add salt and pepper if needed, and pour the sauce over the steaks.

The oysters were marinated for half an hour in ponzu and half a clove of minced garlic, then dredged in flour and sauteed in butter.

David, I never had the budget for Tojo's when I lived in Vancouver! I've never heard about not eating too many oysters, so I'll ask around.

Frances, I actually do process most of my photos--not exactly to fix them, but they usually need to be cropped and often need lighting corrections (like the the dinner pictures above, which were taken in candlelight and were very dark and yellow). But there's only so much photoshop can do, and I think the pictures are decent to begin with, thanks to my camera.


thank you for trying to explain your methods of cooking!! I want to try to make the cream sauce for sure...now I just need to find worcestershire sauce here in Japan haha. I guess I just don't know what it is called here. ^_^;;


It's called pretty much the same thing as in English, and it's really easy to find! Look for "ウスターソース" in any grocery store.

I wish all of our non-Japanese ingredient needs were so easy to fill...

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