Happy New Year to all my dearest readers!
I hope you had a wonderful New Year celebration with your friends and family. The New Years (Shogatsu) is one of the most important annual festivals in Japan, probably equivalent to Christmas or Thanksgiving in the US. We follow unique customs including eating special food called Osechi, and decorate the house and entry way to the house with special decorations. One of the decorations we decorate inside the house (see the picture above) is called Kagami Mochi, which literally means “mirror rice cake”. It is considered to bring good luck and prosperity in the near year.
Kagami Mochi is made from two rice cakes of different sizes with the smaller one placed over the larger one. The mochi are placed on a konbu sheet, a symbol of pleasure and joy. The decorative mochi is taken out on January 11 and hammered into pieces for Ozoni or traditional Mochi soup. It is extremely unlucky to cut Kagami Mochi with a knife so people break it into smaller pieces with a hammer.
This year we couldn’t get to celebrate Japanese New Years in the traditional way since my mom is visiting from Japan and we are in San Diego for a short vacation. My children had a blast spending the past few days in all the local attractions like LEGOLAND, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo, and Sea World.
I just wanted to take a moment and say a special thank you at the beginning of the new year. I’m thankful for your comments and emails, your encouragement, and finally your support. I started my blog last year without knowing what a “blog” is. I had no audience besides my husband, a couple of friends, and myself back then. My blog evolved throughout the past year, and without you, I wouldn’t be able to celebrate the winning of CBS San Francisco’s Most Valuable Blogger 2011 and 1st Blogiversary today!!
I wish to meet each one of you to thank you, but that’s not possible, so I prepared this giveaway in a token of appreciation. Thank you from bottom of my heart!
YOU could win one of three: one (1) $50 Amazon Gift Card or Cash via PayPal or two (2) $25 Amazon Gift Card or Cash via PaPal.
To enter, please leave a comment on this post with any feedback or suggestion for me to improve my blog.
For Bonus Entries to maximize your chances of winning, please:
1) Subscribe to Just One Cookbook by Email and leave a comment.
2) Tweet this giveaway daily through January 15th (one entry per day) and leave a comment for each entry. For example:
I just entered to win $50/$25/$25 Amazon GC or Cash via PayPal @justonecookbook. #giveaway http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/happy-1st-blogiversary-giveaway/
The Rules: This giveaway is WORLDWIDE and expires on Sunday, January 15th, 2012 at 11:00 pm PST. Entries that do not meet the entry requirements will not be considered. Winners will be selected by random.org and announced on Monday, January 16th.
Full disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by yours truly.