Why these cookies were being offered as a class in June I will never know, because I'm certain they're almond Christmas cookies.  They sure taste heavy like Christmas.  Anyway, Christmas in July then.  Although I don't think they know what that is in Japan...
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In an attempt to eat healthier, as well as preventing spoilage, I'm trying to combine as many fresh ingredients as possible.  Seems like a no-brainer, right?  Not in Japan, not always.
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Japan loves to cook with liqueur.  I think they believe alcohol is luxurious, which would explain the drinking culture here in Tokyo.  Anyway, this orange custard is flavored with Cointreau and can curl your toes while you're making it if you get too close after heating.

It was also a test of my knife skills.  Have you ever cut a half an orange into twelve slices?  I have and nearly got myself a few times, even with safe knife precautions.  A task for a mandolin?  Are they sharp enough to cut oranges?
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The summer seasonal bread classes are truly exceptional. Some of the rotating menus they choose are awful, but I'm very impressed with the Italian-influenced offerings this time around.

This bread is based on semolina flour and olive oil and has olives and chopped bacon inside, making a very pasta-like feeling. It's also a very soft bread, but still has the crust of a real bread. I will definitely make this again.
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This bread really should be called Spicy Bacon Tomato, because Spicy Tomato doesn't really cover the flavors.  The centers are filled with bacon pieces and ground black pepper for a punch.  Ketchup is mixed into the dough to add the tomato flavor and some color.  They were lovely but I wish the bacon hadn't browned so much.
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Ever since I went to Okinawa I notice little lion dogs like these all over the place.  The Japanese for them is シーサー (shisa) and the name is similar to lion 獅子 (shishi) so sometimes they're called shishi colloquially.  This one is on a column near the entrance to a home that I pass by when I walk to my regular school.

See my shisa photo from January here.
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Nanoblocks are a popular toy and are widely available in Japan.  There are warnings not to give them to young children, but Japan doesn't really follow those.  They are probably popular because they're small and save space, and who didn't love Legos as a kid?
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Does anyone else love blueberries? The blueberry cream filling these is simply divine.  The mint wilts pretty quickly, but the rest is nice.  Frozen blueberries are mixed into the bread dough also.

Fun fact: Mirtillo is Italian for blueberry.
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