Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I am in Japan!

Hello everyone!

I am in Japan right now. I arrived Tokyo and then went to my grandparents' graves next day. My grandparents' graves are in west side of Japan. I took bullet train and stayed there for a few days. My uncle and aunts welcomed us and too us for a sightseeing also.

Since the place is close to the ocean, they are famous for fresh seafood. We had a lot of fresh seafood!

I took pictures but I forgot to bring the cable which connect camera to the computer.

I came back to Tokyo yesterday and now I am going to enjoy Tokyo. There are so many things I would like to do and eat during this stay. I am so glad that I came. I will be meeting many of my friends and I will spend some time with my family also. Everybody is excited that I am back :-)

I should use my sister's camera so I can upload some pictures.

It is so warm here in Japan compare to NY. I only brought warm clothes so I have to borrow my sister's clothe. It is nice to have sister so that we can share clothes.

My sister is planning to take a day off next week. We are planning to go to Disneyland. I love going to Disneyland. It makes me feel like a kid and I forget about all the worries and sad things.

I am excited to do all the things I wanted to do while I am here!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Korean BBQ in Manhattan

Welcome to 7th Kitchen!

Last night, I had dinner with one of my friends in Manhattan. It has been a while since I met up with her last time so it was really nice to talk to her and enjoy dinner together.

We love Korean BBQ so we wen to a Korean restaurant. Normally, we go to Don's Bogam (32nd st Bet 5th & Madison ave) which is my favorite but last night we went to Woo Chon (36th st Bet 5th & 6th ave). Woo Chon is also really good and I have been there for a few times before.

We ordered Beef tongue and Wang Kalbee. Both of them are really good and they BBQ at your table.

First, we had Kimchi

Then, Beef tongue.

And finally, my favorite Wang Kalbee.

It is so nice to have dinner with your friend. She is very positive person and she always make everybody laugh. I believe that it is very important to have a laugh in your life. It is up to you if you make your life with full of laughter or with full of sorrows and complaints. Even though, it might seem really hard to laugh sometimes when you are in a difficult situation, if you try to force yourself to laugh, I think that the day will come soon that you can laugh from your heart one day. I heard that laughing is really good for your health also. I am trying to laugh a lot everyday. It does not matter what. It can be something really silly but it is good to laugh. Let's try to laugh a lot everyday and if I can make someone laugh on the way, I feel great also :-) I hope this blog brings you a smile sometimes.

By the way, I will be in Japan for a few weeks from this weekend. I will try to update my blog sometimes from Japan but I am not sure if I have time since I have so many things I would like to do in Japan. Including lots of eating! I am excited to report everything I ate in Japan!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Japanese Curry

Welcome to 7th Kitchen!

Curry is a very popular dish in Japan. Of course we have Indian curry and Thai curry etc but we also have what we call Japanese curry. You can buy packaged Japanese curry spice mix and just add meat, vegetable and water. I bought this from a Japanese grocery store.

Everybody loves Japanese curry in Japan especially kids. I love it and my husband love it also. I don't know anybody who does not like Japanese curry. Oh, well, my dad doesn't like curry too much. I don't know why. But he is the only person I know who does not like Japanese Curry. It is that popular.

Again, I make a big batch and freeze them so we can have it later when we want to and when we don't have time to cook.

You can add any kind of vegetable or meat. This time, I used ground pork, veal and beef and onion, carrot and potato. These vegetables are very common vegetables to use for Japanese curry. You can also use seafood to make seafood curry. This is also good food to trick kids and make them eat whatever vegetables they don't like because if you cook it for a long time, all the vegetables will melt and you can not see them and the curry taste is quite strong, you can not really taste the each vegetable when its melt.

I also made a little green salad on the side.

I received a package from Japan yesterday. My parents sent me some goodies such as Unagi pie, green tea, cookies etc. I love Unagi pie. Yes. Unagi is eel and you would think it is not going to be good but it actually really good and you don't taste eel at all. Even my husband liked it but he said that he liked it more if I did not tell him that it is eel pie :-)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Broiled Salmon and broccoli dinner

Welcome to 7th Kitchen!

Salmon is one of the common fish which you can get here in the U.S. I normally buy big piece of salmon from Costco and cut them into half and freeze them.

I found the half of salmon in the freezer so I broiled it last night. This is a dish which I learned from my friend and I make it quite often. Once time, I made it for my parents in laws and they loved it so they make this now at home quite often.

I also found some broccoli in the fridge so I steamed it and added on the side.

By the way, it is getting pretty cold here in NY. I defenitly feel the winter coming. It maked me sad because I love summer so much and hate winter so much. All my plants are dying now. Only the green onion is still growing which I used for last night dinner :-)

Even though I hate winter, I am a bit excited about cooking some of the winter dished and also baking some stuff. It is a best time to bake some sweets. I am not a great baker so I need more practice on baking. I did not want to bake at all in summer because of the heat but now I am excited about baking something really good. I think it is a great feeling to come home and smell the fresh baked cookie or cake or something like that. It just makes you feel warm inside.

One thing I also need to watch out is my waist line :-)

Since I got this stand mixer two Christmas ago, baking is much easier than before. I love this mixer. And mine is PINK!

If you like baking, I highly recommend this mixer. I love it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Korma Curry and Sweet Potate Pie

Welcome to 7th Kitchen!

When I go to Indian grocery store in the city, I buy some of the spice mix. These spice mixes are so easy to make and taste pretty good. Last night, I tried this Korma Curry mix.

I have used this brand before and I really like it so I decided to try Korma curry from this brand also. Well, I did not like their Korma curry too much. It was good but not great. I liked their Chicken Makhani spice mix much better.

I also made sweet potato pie for dessert since I had two sweet potatoes which I had to use. This sweet potato pie is something my mom used to make all the time when I was little. I love this pie. I did not make the pie crust. I just used the store-bought frozen puff pastry.

For Sweet potato filling, here is the recipe.

Japanese Sweet Potato 2
Sugar 1/2 cup
Butter 3 table spoon
heavy cream 1 table spoon

1. Cover each sweet potato with aluminium foil and bake in the 480F oven for 1 hour and half.

2. Cut the sweet potato into half and scrape inside with spoon.

3. Smash the sweet potato until smooth. Add sugar.

4. Heat up butter in a microwave. Add butter and heavy cream into the sweet potato and mix well.

Then you just need to fill this into the puff pastry and brush it with egg york and put in a 400F oven for 20mins.

It was really good and my husband loved it also. I am glad that my husband also liked my mom's sweet potato pie.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend trip to see fall foliage

Welcome to 7th Kitchen!

Fall is here. Especially in northern part of east coast, trees are turning its color. My husband and I went to see fall foliage this weekend. We drove to New Hampshire. We were so excited because we always wanted to take a trip to New Hampshire but we never had.

On the way to New Hampshire, we stop at Harvard University and Salem. Salem is a town famous for witches. Since it was a Halloween season, there were so many tourist at this small town of Salem.

We stopped at Salem to have lunch. We went to a seafood restaurant over looking bay. I had clam chowder and crab cake. My husband had Shrimp Scampi.

It was OK. Nothing spectacular. I might have expected too much. Oh well.

After lunch, we walked around the town of Salem. There were some kind of festival going on and so many vendors on the street. Salem is a cute little town with lots of charms. We saw many store which related to witches.

I found Kettle Corn vender on the street and decided to buy it for later. I love Kettel Corn. I normally like salty popcorn but sometimes I like eating Kettle Corn. It was fresh and really good! I wonder if you can make Kettle corn at home.

After Salem, we entered New Hampshire and went to a town called "Portsmouth". This was also very cute town with lots of stores and restaurants. I think I should have had lunch here at Portsmouth since it looked like there are so many good restaurants around.

Next day, we drove to the White Mountain to see fall foliage. It was quite cold already but the colors were gorgeous. I is amazing how many trees out there. We went through Vermont on the way back and only thing we see in Vermont was trees. It was beautiful.

We really enjoyed this trip. I feel like my body and mind was cleansed by those beautiful scenery and fresh air. We laughed a lot on this trip about lots of silly things. Laughing is a great medicine for your body and mind :-) I am glad that we took this short trip.

When we came back from the trip, our neighbor across from us gave some pasta with homemade tomato sauce and garlic bread. We had it for dinner. They were really good. This neighbor has been really nice to us and I can talk to them when I need someone to talk to. They are very compassionate and caring and always fun to be with. I am very fortunate to have such a nice neighbors around.

By the way, I started to read this book called "Memoirs of Geisha". I am sure that everyone knows about this book since it was very popular a few years ago and it even made into a move. I have not read it yet so I decided to read. So far so good. I am just amazed how an American guy can write about Old Japan and its culture so well. I think the author did an tremendous research before he write this book. I am excited to read on this book.

If you are interested, you can purchase it from Amazon.

I am just wondering what I can make today. I have some sweet potatoes at home. Maybe I should make some Sweet Potato Pie :-)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Beef Bowl

Welcome to 7th Kitchen!

When I have really thin sliced beef, I make this beef bowl. This is called "Gyudon" in Japan and it is very popular fast food. I had these thin sliced beef in my freezer which I bought in a Japanese supermarket so I made this last night.

It is simply with onion and beef. I flavored it with soy sauce, sugar, red wine, ginger, garlic, black pepper, fish broth powder. And added red pickled ginger on top.

There is a fast food restaurant in Japan called "Yoshino-ya" which is famous for their beef bowls. There are some in California and I used to go there sometimes while I was living there.

My husband and I like it with lots of gingers on top :-)

Anyhow, I am planning to go see a fall foliage this weekend. I think it will be nice to see a beautiful scenery to refresh my mind and body. I am also excited about eating great food during our weekend trip :-) I am glad that my appetite is back!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Garlic noodle and Avocado salad

Welcome to 7th Kitchen!

Last night, I finally felt like cooking so I made garlic noodle and avocado salad. This garlic noodle recipe was send by my friend a few weeks ago and I bought the ingredients last week to try it.

My Friend's friend found this recipe on the Internet. There is a restaurant called "Crustacean" in SF. When I was living near SF, I did not know about this restaurant but I found out about it after I moved to NY. This restaurant is famous for crabs but their garlic noodle is also famous. And someone created this recipe to re-create the garlic noodle from Crustacean restaurant.

I have never been to the restaurant so I am not sure how close it is but it tasted really good. It require quite lots of butter and garlic so it was very buttery and garlicky. I really liked how it taste. Now, I just have to go to SF and taste the original :-)

I also made avocado salad with it. I just cut avocado and pour balsamic cream which I found in a super market in Germany. This balsamic cream is very thick and creamy. I think I use this for many different dishes.

After the dinner, we had strawberry for dessert. It was a good dinner but I was not feeling too well after the dinner. Maybe because I have not eaten too much this past few days and I just ate a lot all of a sudden. Or maybe the noodle was too rich. Well, it tasted good when I was eating. And my husband also liked this garlic noodle. He did not have any problem after the dinner.

I am glad that my appetite is coming back.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sushi Rolls and my appetite

Welcome to 7th Kitchen!

I wasn't feeling too well this past few days and I did not have any appetite so my wonderful husband was worried about me and pick up some sushi rolls from my favorite sushi restaurant to stimulate my appetite.

My favorite is double double which is this crunchy shrimp roll. (I am not sure exactly what is in it) Next to that is Rainbow roll. Doesn't it look pretty?

Then, we also had crunchy spicy tuna roll and California roll. I love California roll and I make it at home sometimes.

I think my husband's effort worked and I was able to enjoy eating sushi. I think my appetite is coming back slowly.

Since I always love eating and always had appetite, I think it scared my husband that I did not have any appetite. I appreciate his concern and caring gesture. He is the best :-)

Also, we watched this funny old TV show called "The Golden Girls" and that made me laugh and maybe laughing was good for stimulating appetite also :-)

Anyhow, autumn is coming to NY and some of the trees are changing its color.

We are thinking about going somewhere to see fall foliage this weekend.

By the way, last week, I hand made this apple by sawing felt. (I have a how-to book for this) It came out pretty good so I thought maybe I will post it here :-) It is a wonderful feeling to see just pieces of clothes making shape into a beautiful apple!

I hope everybody is doing well and feeling happy and have good appetite :-)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dunkin Donuts & Steak dinner

Welcome to 7th Kitchen!

Normally, I don't like Donuts too much. I eat them probably 1~2 times a year. BUT I was watching this TV show the other day which was showing behind the donuts shop and after I watched it, I wanted to have donuts myself.

And there is a Dunkin Donuts right next to our grocery store so when I went for a grocery shopping yesterday, I stopped by at Dunkin Donuts and got those three kind of Donuts.

Of course, I did not eat them all but I tried half of all three. It was really good! They were glazed, french cruller and Boston cream. I don't know why I did not like donuts before. These are pretty damn good!

Dunkin Donuts seems like pretty popular in East Coast. I did not see any Dunkin Donuts while I was living in Northern California. This particular store was also pretty crowded when I went. I guess everybody loves donuts!

Then, after my pretty heavy snack, what do you think I had for dinner?
I had a steak. Well, it was a small piece of steak and I also had broccoli and mushroom on the side. I also made garlic fried rice. It was good. I know I am eating too much. I blame it for this weather. It is getting cooler. In Japan, we say we get more appetite during autumn.

Anyway, I like using garlic for lots of my cooking. I love garlic. But I know I should not eat them too much at once. Long time ago, I went to this really good garlic restaurant in SF called "The Stinkin Rose". This restaurant is famous for their garlic dishes. It was really good and I had so much garlic that night. Then later, I was feeling sick from eating too much garlic. Since then, I try not to eat too much garlic at once but I love it so much it is sometimes difficult to control.

Still, I would love to go back to that restaurant because it was really good. Also, that night after the meal, I went to a cafe close by called "Steps of Rome". This place has really good Tiramisu.
Maybe the reason why I was feeling sick that night was not from garlic. It was probably from eating too much!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Eggplant & Bell pepper stir fry

Welcome to 7th Kitchen!

I know, I know. It does not look too appetizing. But this was good. It is eggplant (my favorite) and bell pepper stir fried in miso sauce. I also added some Shiso from my garden.

I don't have a picture but I also make eggplant miso soup. It all about eggplant and miso last night.

My Sisho in the garden is still growing strong. I think I should pick them and store them in freezer or something because it is getting cooler these days.

I have two more eggplant left at home. I am thinking about this pasta dish which my friend found recipe for me. It is with eggplant and tomato with mozzarella cheese. I have to go get mozzarella cheese!

By the way, lately I hear this song called "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-z at lot on a radio. I like this song. It makes me feel good and motivated. I think it is because I live in NY right now. Maybe I am becoming New Yorker without knowing :-) On the other hand, I also like this old song called "If you going to San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie. This song always make me smile and wanna go back to San Francisco. I might be starting to feel like a New Yorker a little bit but my heart still belong to San Francisco :-) As the old song from Tonny Bennett?? say " I left my heart in San Francisco".

This is a different story but I think I used to live in Hawaii in my previous life. I can not explain why but I just felt it. Even before I go to Hawaii, I felt like I have been there before and when I first went to Hawaii, I felt this nostalgic feeling of coming home. Well, maybe because it is such a beautiful place, I would like to think that I used to live in Hawaii in my previous life :-) Have you ever had any feeling that you have been there before even that was your first time visiting there? It is such a funny feeling. It kind of like "Deja vu"