Definitely Not Waimea Bay
It is 79 degrees
, with slightly cool trade winds. It is 81 degrees
in Providence, RI
. Downright balmy.
It is 63 degrees
in San Jose
, 55 degrees
in San Francisco
. And RAINING
to boot! But even I have to admit that the Golden Gate Bridge is all-weather beautiful.
So it's yet another week of cold-weather food.Monday
--Since it was a holiday, it was lazy-girl oven dinner. Pork Loin
(the Hormel cracked pepper version), fresh corn salsa
(this is new!) oven baked Okinawan sweet potato fries
, rice and home grown romaine lettuce salad.Tuesday
--Korean Chicken Soup
. Because it's raining, and I have a fresh batch of ogo
and a brand new bottle of kim chee.Wednesday
in the forecast means another oven day. Chicken Divan
. We haven't had this in a long time. Good down-home dinner for the one sunny day of the week.Friday
--Farmer Kenny's Chili
. This recipe originally came with a fresh side of pork products--sausage, chops, bacon. It was the first (and last) pig that Farmer Kenny raised. RIP Sparky
. You were delicious. Umbrella one day. Sunscreen the next. Eat Well. Be Well.
No way I even try to make these. Not even the hubby does.
These mini almond croissants
are from my very favorite neighborhood bakery, Sugar Butter Flour
in Sunnyvale. It is nestled in a strip mall with a Safeway, Round Table Pizza, a Japanese restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, and the ubiquitous nail salon and dry cleaners. It is in the old Fuji Bakery
space and I started going there only grudgingly when Fuji closed.
And I have been richly rewarded. If I were 'forced' to eat there every day, for the rest of my life, the mini almond croissant would be the one for me. They also have full-sized almond croissants (too big), chocolate/almond versions (a little over the top for me), plain croissants and my close second, mini-cinnamon croissants.
My clients show up in person, happy, and on time for my 8:30 am meetings when they know I'm bringing in The Pastry Box. Mini almond croissants or cinnamon croissants to the first 12 people who show up. The best productivity tool/motivation I've found.
Beyond that, Sugar Butter Flour has a great selection of individual desserts. When we have a special occasion or when I just can't resist because I happen to be at Safeway, I get a few favorites: Raspberry Mango Mousse, Key Lime Tart, Pear Almond Tart and Chocolate Mousse Cake. They may seem small, but they are rich enough to share, even with teenagers.
Face it, there will always be food that you will not make at home. Mini almond croissants are on that list for me.
Eat well. Be well.
Now that I've made my very own batch of My Dad's Ogo
(see blog post "Thursday is Poi and Ogo Day
"), I'm feeling a little home-(cooking)-sick.
Especially since May is feeling at lot more like November lately. Brrr.
Thankfully, the Buddhist temple's teriyaki chicken fundraiser was just at the right time.
Their all-volunteer homemade teriyaki chicken is really a cross between a barbecued teriyaki and old-time huli-huli chicken. As a bonus, I also got some homemade tsukemono (Japanese pickled cabbage), and two humongous bags of leftover rice for fried rice.
Rounding out the week with food from Grandma, Dad and my sister. Toss in a photo or two from home, and I can smell the home cooking from here.Monday
--Buddhist Temple Teriyaki Chicken, essentially takeoutTuesday
--My Grandma's Meat and Macaroni
and fresh salad with homegrown lettuceWednesday
--My Daddy's Killer Fried Rice
, Leftover rice bag #1--using char siu, scrambled eggs, carrots, onions and green beans.Thursday
--Sanny's Hamburgers and Gravy
, rice and broccoliFriday
& My Daddy's Killer Fried Rice
, Leftover rice bag #2, using the bacon from the salmon, onions, shredded carrots, and edamame
A sure cure for なつかしい (natsukashii--missing/longing for something).Eat Well. Be Well.
My Dad is going to be so proud.
Thursday was ‘holy-smokes-can-you-believe it!’ lucky ogo day.
What’s ogo?? Ogo is the Japanese word for a grassy seaweed that quite literally grew like weeds in the shallow reefs in Hawaii. The closest approximation I can think of is pickle weed, and it’s really not that close. And it’s definitely not the Astroturf-green seaweed salad in the Asian deli aisle or at Costco.
My Dad made ogo into a sublime side dish. After searching online for a Bay Area source, emailing a few San Francisco-based fish distributors and even calling a couple, I had given up.
Then last week, an ex-pat Hawaii friend, a good ole’ local Kaimuki boy, Facebook'd that there was fresh ogo to be found in the Bay Area! This is a very serious and wholly justified cause for celebration.
Comes in about a half-pound bag.
on Thursdays is the place for fresh ogo and poi, flown in from Hawaii that day. If you can’t get there in the morning, call ahead because they usually sell out of both. The two bags of ogo I bought were amazing--fresh, super-clean, and just smelled good.
I have to admit, I more often go to Marukai, a big Japanese grocery chain store directly across the street. However, Imahara’s is a family-run business that definitely merits regular visits. The place is always really clean, their staff just rocks, and the selection produce is really beautiful and fresh—they bring new stock in every day. This makes it a tad more expensive than Marukai, but definitely less than Whole Foods. And lots of Hawaii food
, like frozen lau-lau, Ani’s sweet bread, Zippy’s chili, various flavors of Hawaiian Sun drinks, and fresh San Jose tofu and Japanese food to boot.
Just don’t buy all the ogo on Thursdays. Click here
for Dad's recipe.Eat well. Be well.
It's 'cold' in the Bay Area again. It's even raining, perfect weather for some hearty stew/soup items. This is also a great way to use a use a single bunch of celery and a bag of carrots in a week without them wilting. I will also get some naan flatbreads and a tub of feta cheese to split between two meals.
--Japanese Chicken Curry
using Vermont curry instead of S&B packet this time. Uses half of the carrots and celery. Leftovers for this will be used in lunches during the week.Tuesday
--Grandma's Braised Meat
. Because we need a red-meat fix every once in awhile. And I don't have a photo. Finish off the other half of the carrots and celery. Wednesday
--The experiment of the week: another "Arabian Night"-spiced chicken with Steve's hummus
. Plus a new recipe for baba ghanouj (an eggplanty-dip/spread) and Greek Salad
. This should just about use all of the extra lemons. As we watch the hockey game. Go Sharks!!
and a green salad. Something fast for the triple-bonus carpool day--piano, soccer, volleyball.Friday
--Tandoori Chicken Sandwiches
. This will use up any leftover feta cheese and flatbreads from Wednesday's dinner.
Look for the kids and husband approved-mahi mahi to be posted this week.Eat Well. Be Well.
Spent a day cruising San Francisco Japantown, and was overwhelmed by extreme cuteness, but in a good way. If you please...
#1) Happy Face Crepes
. How can this not make you smile??
$5 and it could easily be a meal. From Belly Good Crepes
, and yes, this really is the name of the place. Cone and bowl versions, and pick from coconut, lychee, mango, peach, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. I love the corn-flake ears and the "Elvis" 'do with the whipped cream. Cute, reasonable and ono--winner!
#2) Hello Kitty
, the epitome of Japanese cuteness, and official mascot for Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival).
This is Adios, of my new hoodie.
#3) Adios and Ciao-Ciao from Tokidoki. These guys could be Hello Kitty's bad-ass but yet still incredibly whimsically cute siblings. Score me a new hoodie!
#4) Daiso. $1.50 buys you a microwave and dishwasher-safe coffee mug featuring little stuffed animals... hanging out to dry on clothesline. By the ears. Next to their clothes. Cute yet a little twisted.
Have a good weekend all. Eat Well. Be Well.
My neighbor kindly shared a *huge* box of home-grown lemons. So the game of the week is to use them in as many different ways as we can. Here's what's cooking.Monday
--"Fixed" lemon chicken
, broccoli, home-grown lettuce salad, and riceTuesday
(nice tuna again!), oven-baked purple Okinawan sweet potato fries (an experiment inspired by the Bon Chon
sweet potato fries), Nakayoshi Gakko Somen Salad
. A lemon-free day.Wednesday
--Lemony Bacon Farfalle
. Double the recipe to use lots of lemons, plus enough for lunches.Thursday
--New recipe. Mahi-mahi in a Mediterranean-ish red sauce using tomatoes and, wait for it, lemon.Friday
--Leftovers' Buffet. Cut up the leftover lemon chicken and toss it over the remaining farfalle. Eat the rest of the fish with brocooli and the sweet potato fries. I guarantee there will be no leftover poke. Add some more lettuce and cukes to the somen salad and to finish.
Lemony extras this week: More Strawberry muffins
, Lemon Bars
(usually a lime, but when you've got a crateful of lemons...) and maybe some Baba Ghanouj as an experiment.
Life gives you lemons so you can Eat Well. Be Well. And send any lemon recipes my way.
Let's hear it for Moms.
My Grandma, Mom, Sisters, Aunties, Cousins, friends' Moms, Nieces, Mother-in-Law, gal-pals--Be grateful to them all. For they have nourished/nurtured/advised/supported/encouraged and just-plain-loved you, physically and emotionally.
In honor of the amazing women in my life--heart-and-soul food
Grandma's Meat and Macaroni
--my dear Japanese-speaking grandma, who never drove a car, and loved sumo and Las Vegas, made this thoroughly down-home American one-dish pasta meal.Sanny's Hamburgers and Gravy
--my sister is the master of "throw-stuff-in-and-I-think-it-will-work" cooking. Slightly crunchy on the outside but moist and full of complex flavor on inside. Add a sunny-side up egg and voila-ici, perfect loco-moco.Mayonnaise Chicken
--my mom's alternative to fried chicken. My Sister must have have learned a 'mayonnaise' secret from my Mom because the mayo in both my mom's chicken and my sister's hamburgers is what keeps each from drying out, but yet not greasy.Grandma Nancy's Brownies
--my mother-in-law's light, chocolate-y, just-sweet-enough brownies. It was her 'secret' recipe...but it's too good not to share :)
Anna's Broccoli Salad
--from our very much beloved Anna, who was my daughter's day care provider. Everyone who has the good fortune of meeting Anna and her family became
her family. Anna is the embodiment of ohana.Karen's Mom's 7-Layer Bars
& Jane's Napoleons
--from the moms of two of my best friends in college. Thanks to them, I was never an 'orphan' during the Easter, Thanksgiving or the Jewish holidays.Eat Well. Be Well. | Celebrate All Those Who Have Mothered You!
Today, May 5th, will always be Boys' Day, then Cinco de Mayo.
Boys' Day (5th day, 5th month) is an old-custom Japanese festive day to celebrate, well, boys. Not to worry, there was also Girls' Day on March 3rd (3rd day, 3rd month).
In Japan, this was long ago consolidated to 5/5 as "Children's Day" but in Hawaii, as well as in this household of ex-pat Hawaii adults, Boys and Girls' days are still separate, but equal.
How do we celebrate? By hauling out the traditional Boys' Day decorations--Japanese Boys warrior dolls
, a samurai helmet
(a symbol of strength), irises
, (whose leaves are shaped like swords and therefore, are a symbol of swashbuckling bravery) and flying koi (carp)
. According to the Japanese American National Museum website
, koi symbolize boys because they are 'sprited and lively, and show fighting spirit by swimming upstream. Did they ever get that right!
All will receive some yummy traditional and and modern treat, because it is after all, a celebration day. 'Grown-up' boy gets mochi (for good luck) and cherry blossom white bread (because he likes it and I never buy white bread). For the boy/children, their favorite Japanese soda candy or rice crackers for *both* kids even though it's officially Boys Day. And Calpico for all.
Typically, they also get a token present. When they were little, it was usually some sort of stuffed animal fish, but now it'll be more like a mechanical pencil or an iTune. Such is the life of modern American Japanese kids...
Whatever your traditions--Happy Boys Day and Happy Cinco de Mayo.Eat Well. Be Well.
Kamaboko & Green Onion Okonomiyaki
Mostly Japanese food, and pretty light on meat. We go through periods where our vegetable consumption wanes, so I'm focusing on adding more vegetables
to complete our dinners.Monday
, with just cabbage, kamaboko and fresh green onions from our garden. Tuesday
. Another all-veg meal using tofu and the other half of the kamaboko from yesterday's dinner. Shabu-shabu got canceled awhile ago because we were out dipping sauces. Now I've started working on making the sauces from scratch.Wednesday
, but using chicken. Fish was not looking very happy this week. I think the swap will work. With the first harvest of Romaine lettuce from the garden, kim chee and hot rice.Thursday
--Stir-fried Lazy Wraps
, for lack of a spiffier name. Take a package of sausage. Smoked Brats, Chicken Apple, or Portuguese are the household faves. Slice them and toss them in a non-stick pan. Slice an onion, 2 red peppers and some mushrooms. When the sausages are almost brown, add the onion, then peppers and then mushrooms. When everything is cooked, heat up some tortillas and make wraps. Add salsa if you like.
Maruchan Fresh Yakisoba
with steamed broccoli, another fresh head of lettuce and rice.Bonus Saturday
, made by the husband. Use Maruchan *fresh* and *not instant* yakisoba.
He adds green beans, carrots a bit of pork, chicken, or kamaboko and red pickled ginger (kizami shoga) as a garnish. Fresh yakisoba is in the refrigerated section of most Asian grocery stores as well as in some Safeways.Eat Well. Be Well.