Valentine’s Day 2017

Happy Post-Valentine’s Day!

Whether you spent it alone, with friends, or with a special someone, I think one of the best things about Valentine’s Day… is chocolate. I love chocolate. I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, but I do like having an excuse to binge on chocolate treats and goodies. GIMME ALL THE CHOCOLATe.

I tried to do Valentine’s themed activities with my some of my classes… didn’t go so well. 😦 Oh well, now I know not to do it next year…

Last year, I didn’t buy or make any chocolate treats for my co-workers. I thought Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be a big thing here. After all, I don’t remember doing anything special at any of my past work places. But when I ended up getting treats here and there from my co-workers, I felt a little guilty that I didn’t prepare anything, and that I assumed things would be the same here as they were back home.

This year however, I wanted to try and make something to show appreciation to my co-workers. For weeks, I couldn’t decide what to make. I flip-flopped between cookies and brownies, thought about doing some sort of truffle, and as Valentine’s Day approached, I decided on Checkerboard Cookies. I’ve made checkerboard cookies before, when I wanted to make something for my Japanese professor as thanks for writing me a letter of recommendation for JET. They turned out soooo ugly… they weren’t too bad, but Trevor and I agreed that the cookies I made didn’t have any flavor in them. My professor didn’t mind though, saying she didn’t like really sweet things anyways.

first-time-cookies

First time I made these cookies, the pattern came out a little messier than I wanted them to be…

I tried again this year on the weekend before Valentine’s Day. I used the same recipe that I used the first time, from ochikeron. When I made the first batch, they turned out better than the first time, but they still weren’t that perfect square I wanted them to be… the taste though, Trevor mentioned, was a lot better than the first time. But they weren’t to his liking because they were a little crispier than normal cookies. (But in Japan, I noticed that a lot of people typically like hard shortbread or sable-like cookies.)

In ochikeron’s video, she sliced the rolls into sections before arranging them into the iconic checkerboard pattern. Hers turned out so nice but as I started slicing my log, some of the squares turned out so lopsided… I didn’t know how she got hers so clean.

So I tried again, this time with a new batch and cutting each individual strip and arranging and stacking them one-by-one. I suppose they turned out a little nicer… but they were very small and some still looked messy. The tiny ones were a good size to bring to work though.

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On Valentine’s morning, I gave a small bag of the bigger cookies to the office and then went to each teacher in the teacher’s room and offered them a cookie. I set my cookies on the designated treat table and at the end of the day, only four were left out of a fairly large tuperware container! I was so surprised!

I was also surprised to have received many chocolates… In Japan, usually the girls give the guys chocolates and then on March 14, the guys give back chocolates to everyone who they got chocolates from.

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I love chocolate!!!

Trevor gave me Ferrero Rocher chocolates!! They’re my favorite, I love the taste of hazelnuts and chocolate together ❤

One of the treats I was most excited to try was the Nama Chocolate. (The one in the fancy green wrapping) Nama chocolate is almost similar to a truffle filling- it’s very fine quality chocolate mixed together with heavy cream that results in a very soft and creamy-like chocolate. They’re then chilled, cut into pieces, and sprinkled with cocoa powder. I’ve never tried Nama chocolate before, so I was super excited! And it was absolutely delicious! This one in particular is matcha flavored and covered in matcha powder and I was shocked at how soft and creamy it was. It wasn’t sweet to the point where it would hurt my teeth too! It was so perfect. Now I want to try Royce Nama Chocolate. Another reason for us to go visit Hokkaido someday! (The factory is located in Sapporo)

matcha-nama-choco

I also got a homemade chocolate cake from the wood-work teacher- it was soooooo good! I got to enjoy it while watching the Michael Bolton Valentine Special on Netflix with Trevor xD

But before that, Trevor and I tried… Chocolate Yakisoba. We bought it as a joke to try out on Valentine’s Day because we thought it would be perfect… It tastes how you think it would be taste- yakisoba and chocolate, but the surprising thing was that there was barely any chocolate flavor to it. So it just tasted like yakisoba noodles covered with weak chocolate sauce :/ It was goofy to say the least. Trevor thought it was absolutely horrible, I didn’t think it was too bad because I’ve had worst tasting food… Definitely wouldn’t get it again though LOL.

myojo

…yuck.

Also made a Valentine’s card for Trevor from the free time I get at work… I miss our pets! ❤

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Let’s just say I have a lot of free time at work… :3

Hope your Valentine’s day was spent well! 🙂

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