Sunday, November 16, 2014

Family visit and Halloween

It has been a while since the last post. In October, my family came to visit us in NY. It was very short and I felt really really sad when they left. I couldn't stop crying at the airpot but luckily my son kept me busy and thing get back to normal quickly.

Sometimes I wonder how my life would have been if I stayed in Japan. It was my decision to come to the U.S. and stay here and I am very happy with my choice however I would love to have families around somewhere close by. Then, I also think about those people who live in Japan but do not see their family often. When I think about it, I spend weeks with them when I go back and I think maybe we don't spend that much time together at once if we live in Japan. So maybe overall the amount of time we spend together are same or more then average. I just wish I could see them more often :-)

While they were here, I didn't cook much but my mom made Japanese breakfast for us everyday so I definitely enjoyed having someone cook Japanese breakfast for me everyday :-)

There was a Halloween Party with my son's friends while they were here so I took them to the party. They enjoyed little kids dressing up and enjoying the party.

Everybody brought some food and enjoyed the day together. I am so thankful to have such wonderful friends to share those moments with! My son is growing up so fast! I am trying to enjoy every events, every moments and every conversation with him.

While my family is here, I tried to make Red Snapper Rice (Taimeshi) with my mom. She never made this so this was first time for both of us. We got a nice big red snapper from Korean supermarket.

I think it came out pretty good but since I never had this before I was not sure how it is supposed to taste. For me, it was lacking some flavor but I guess it shouldn't have strong flavor. My aunt and uncle told me that this is how it supposed to taste so I guess we did it right. Since I LOVE ginger. I added extra ginger.

And this is a cake we ate together. It was from Whole Food. My son was so happy to see this cake but at the same time he was scared of it.

It went by so fast but I really really enjoyed the stay of my family. My son was so happy to have many people to play with. I guess this was how the family used to be. With many people in the family or more close with your neighbors and so on. Nowadays, it is rare to have such a big family but I think it might be a good environment for kids to grow up in :-)

I would love to have my family here again. I just wish the flight was shorter. I am excited for their next visit already!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A trip to Mystic, Connecticut

I have been wanting to go to Mystic Connecticut for quite some time ever since I saw it on TV. I was finally able to visit the other day. It was not too far away from where we are but since we didn't want to rush and fully enjoy the area, we decided to stay one night.

The first day was a beautiful day and we left home early to get there before everybody.

First, we got breakfast bagel near our place before we get on the freeway and start our trip. We do this sometimes when we go for a road trip and eat it in the car while we drive.

There are many bagel shops in NY and we have a few in our area also. It is great to be able to get fresh baked bagel anytime you want it. Since I am not a big breakfast person, I shared one breakfast bagel with my husband.

Then, we arrived at Mystic Connecticut.

There is a place called Seaport in Mystic. You have to pay to get in but there are a few old wooden ships and planetarium and so on. I think it is quite possible to spend a while day here in Seaport. Actually that is basically what we did. There are some activities and a house for kids also.

My son liked the ship so he had lots of fun exploring the old ships.

It was a beautiful day and the view from a small boat was beautiful like this.

For lunch, we went outside of Seaport. We ate at a restaurant called "Harbor House" which is in a hotel on a little hill where you can see the ocean.

I had clam chowder and a lobster roll. This is clam chowder I ordered.

Clam chowder was really good. I like those smooth chowders which are not too thick so it was perfect for my taste.

I forgot to take a picture of lobster roll. It was OK. I mean I think it is because I don't love lobster. I know I don't love lobster but sometimes I had to order to reconfirm that. Every time I eat lobster, I kind of regret it because I knew that I don't love it but I order it anyway. Oh well, I hope I will learn someday.

For dinner, we went to a small Mexican restaurant close to where our hotel was (which was not in Mystic). One of the reason we went there was because when I check their menu online, I found Horchata. My husband and I LOVE Horchata and every chance we get to drink Horchata, we take it.

Horchata is a typical Mexican drink (I think it is typical...) made from rice and sugar and cinnamon. When I was living in California, it was quite easy to get this drink since there were many Mexican restaurant around but after we moved to NY, Horchata had become something which is not easy to come by so we get super excited whenever we find it.

We loved Horchata so much, we actually tried to make it at home once. It tasted good but was quite a process.

Anyways, this restaurant was very casual, reasonable and good! It was a small place but very popular and people were just coming in non stop. We ordered lots of different thing but the best was of course tacos.

There was a swimming pool at the hotel we stayed in so my son really really enjoyed swimming. He just started to swim on his own with a little floating thing on his arms when we stayed in Germany with my in-laws. We would like him to keep swimming and be comfortable in water so we will try to take him to a swimming pool even in winter.

Next day, we swimming in the swimming pool again and checked out the hotel then head to a town called Essex to ride a steam engine train. But first, we went to a restaurant to have lunch.

We went to a restaurant which we found online and I had fish and chips there.

Sorry for this kind of smoky, blur photo... I don't know what happened here.

I LOVE fish and chips. Every time I see fish and chips in the menu, I feel like I have to order it (especially when I haven't have fish and chips from that particular restaurant before).

This fish and chips was really good. And French Fries.  is probably my favorite food in the world and I especially love truffle french fries. They had truffle french fries on the appetizer menu so I asked them if they can make my fish and chips with their truffle french fried. They were happy to do that for me and I was extremely happy.

I just love truffle fries. It was super good. The fish was good also but the truffle fries were the highlight of the meal for me.

After the lunch, we went to ride a steam train. My son loved it and it was quite nice ride.

On the way home, we kind of got stuck on traffic but it was a wonderful weekend trip. I highly recommend Mystic CT for weekend trip if you are living in NYC area.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pork and Onion with Ginger and Garlic

It started to feel like fall in NY this past few days. It is kind of sad since I LOVE summer but at the same time, it is exciting to think about all the bakings and warm food which we will be enjoying in fall.

We actually baked cookie yesterday since it was cool and rainy day. I love baking when the weather is bad. My husband and my son helped me to bake and they really really enjoyed being a sous chef.
And the chocolate chip cookie we made was pretty good.

Anyways, I would like to talk about the really yummy pork dish which I made a few weeks ago. I think this is a typical Japanese flavor. Soy sauce, Sake and Mirin. It goes really well with white rice and I always have to be very careful not to eat too much rice.

I am sure many Japanese people love this kind of dish but since my husband and my son loved it also, I think this might be a universal dish which can be enjoyed by people from all over the world.

I made this kind of dish before but this was the first time I used cilantro and tomato as garnish with it. This was absolutely great idea since we LOVE cilantro, eating this pork with cilantro made it taste even better and fresher. This is optional but if you like cilantro, I highly recommend eating it with cilantro. Well, in my opinion, just about anything taste better with cilantro ;-)

The only way to find out is to try making this dish and eat it yourself! Here is the recipe.

Pork and Onion with Ginger and Garlic

Very thinly sliced pork     1/4 lb
Onion                                2 medium (Sliced thinly)
Green Onion                     2  (chopped)
Ginger                               2 Table Spoon (Grated)
Garlic                                2 cloves (Grated)
Soy Sauce                         1 Table Spoon
Mirin                                 2 Table Spoon
Sake                                  2 Table Spoon
Cilantro  (optional)           a BIG handful
Tomato  (optional)            2 small (cut into 4 pieces)
Vegetable Oil                    1 Table Spoon

1, Add vegetable oil into frying pan and saute onion until soft

2, When onion got soft, add pork, ginger and garlic

3, Before the pork turns its color, add sake

4, After the pork turned its color, add soy sauce and mirin and saute more

5, Taste, add chopped green onion and mix together

6, Spread chopped cilantro on a plate and add pork and onion on top

7, Garnish with tomato and serve with rice.

This is an easy quick meal that satisfy everybody's appetite! Enjoy!