Thursday, September 30, 2010

My mother-in-law's delicious german potato salad

Potato salad in Germany is little bit different from the ones in Japan or in the U.S. It is lighter and tangier and I love it so much. My mother-in-law makes best potato salad in the whole world! A few years ago, I learned how she make it and wrote it down. I didn't write down the exact measurement so every time it comes out differently and I had never been able to make it as good as my mother-in-law's.

However, this time I think my potato salad has gotten pretty close to it! I am so happy. Of course, I need more practice on this but I think I am getting a hang of it.

First, I boiled potatoes and peeled it then cut into slices. (I used small red potatoes)

Then, I made dressing with white balsamic vinegar, heavy cream, Dijon mustard, sugar, salt, pepper and vegetable broth.

Then, I chopped cucumber, chives and onions.

Add them in the dressing. I also added some crushed garlic.

Then, you add potatoes, mix well and chill in the fridge. Serve.

I really love this potato salad. You can have this as a side dish or you can eat with some bread. It is tangy and delicious! I hope I will be able to make this potato salad as good as my mother-in-law someday! 

If you ever go to Germany, please try their potato salad. I think you would love it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Easy Chicken Curry & my favorite Clam Linguine & The men who stare at goats

Today, I would like to post some of the stuff which I made for the last few weeks but didn't get to upload on this blog.

First, this is easy lazy chicken curry using patak's curry paste.

All you need to do is mix this curry paste with chicken, onion and tomatoes then you will have a pretty good tasting chicken curry.

This is my secret weapon for those days when I don't have time or don't feel like cooking too much. I think it taste even better if you add some cilantro.

Next is clam linguini. This is one of my favorite dish. I learned this dish from one of my roommate back in California. (Check out the past post for more details about this clam linguini. Click here)

It has some cream so it is little bit creamy but also have lots of lemon juice so not too heavy. I also add lots of garlic, green onion, parsley and basil. It is soooo good!!

My husband doesn't like clam too much but when he tried it he said he liked it. Maybe I can make this more often from now on :-)

By the way, I watched a movie called "The men who stare at goats". It is a bit strange movie but I liked it from the beginning since one of my favorite actor Ewan Mcgregor was in it. Also, there are many other good actors in this movie.

George Clooney is also in this movie. I never really liked him and I didn't quite understand why he was so popular but after I watched this movie, I became a fan. He is a good actor and even though he is not my type, he is a good looking man for his age.

I normally see him in a serious role but I think he is great at comedic role.

This movie is a little bit strange movie but there are many parts which we laughed a lot and I personally liked this movie. If you like George Clooney, I think you should watch this movie sometimes :-)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Very Japanese Meal

The other day, when my husband didn't need a dinner, I made this super traditional Japanese meal for myself. I didn't think anything about those dishes when I was in Japan but now these dishes are somewhat luxurious to me since I don't get to eat these everyday.

It was just broiled fish, ginger eggplant, fermented beans and rice. It is healthy yet very satisfying for me.

The eggplant is one of my favorite vegetable, I just cut them and sauteed in vegetable/sesame oil and sprinkled with grated ginger and chopped chives with some soy sauce. I love ginger so I add lots of grated ginger. Love it!!!

The fish is the one which I bought from Japanese supermarket and froze it. I used to eat this kind of fish for breakfast.... (Yes, we eat fish for breakfast. I know it is kind of uneasy thoughts for those who are not used to it :-)

When I eat these food, I realize that I am a Japanese and it will never go away from me. I am happy that I am in living in a place where I can enjoy those Japanese food quite easily.

I had some leftover eggplant so I made my husband try it and he liked it! Now I know that I can make this eggplant dish even for my husband. (He wouldn't like these fish and fermented beans though :-)

By the way, on the weekend, we went to see a musical called "Wicked". I have seen this once before but I really liked it so I took my husband with me this time. It is really good musical and I think both adults and kids can enjoy this. It is amazing how good those performers are and have energetic they can be for about three hours. It must be very exhausting. If you have a chance, I highly recommend "Wicked".

After the show, we went to have Yakitori which is Japanese grilled chicken skewers. This place is called "Yakitori Totto". We shared many different kinds of yakitori and also had some rice balls. They were really good!

Also, we had a breakfast at the beach. This was really nice. We just bought a bagel from a bagel store and brought it to the beach and had a nice breakfast picnic. We loved it!

We had a great weekend and we felt so lucky to have everything we have including each other!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shrimp Sandwich with the bread from EATALY

I made shrimp sandwich using the rustic bread which I bought from Eataly in NY on the weekend. This sandwich is something my friend made for us when he and his wife and kid visited us from South Africa. We live far away right now but I hope we will be living close to each other someday.
(Click here for the post of that time)

He is a great cook and he also make something special for us when we see each other. He does not use recipe and always come up with great dish. I wish I could cook like him. I really loved this sandwich he made for us so I decided to make it just like he did.

I used frozen shrimp, lots of arugula and cilantro. I forgot to get avocado but the sandwich was already too big to eat so maybe it was good that I forgot avocado. I also used sautéed onion, just like he did.

The bread was too big so when I tried to eat this sandwich, it was impossible to eat so I separate the bread and ended up making two open-face sandwiches. It was really good!

This is easy sandwich but very special and satisfying sandwich. Whenever I get good bread, I crave for this sandwich.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Manhattan Rooftop lunch & Suburb outdoor movie

On the weekend, my husband and I went to Manhattan to have brunch (lunch) on a rooftop restaurant.
This is a rooftop restaurant/bar which we tried to go the other day at night but couldn't because it was too crowded and we were not dressed properly. This time is was brunch so very casual.

This is the view from the rooftop.

This restaurant/bar is called "230fifth" and it is on the 5th Ave close to 27th street.

I had Nasi Lemak which is Malaysian?? Chicken curry dish. My husband had Cuban sandwich. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photo of those.

The weather was nice (not too hot and not too cold) and we had a wonderful lunch. It was a perfect way to start a day.
After lunch, we walked down on the 5th Ave till 23rd st. There is this Italian grocery/restaurant place called Eately. This is a pretty big place and there were so many people in there. Everybody was enjoying some special food and wine from Italy.

This is how it look from outside.

This is the fish section.

This is dried pasta section. They also had lots of fresh pasta.

We only bought "Rustic Bread" to make sandwich next day :-)

After that, we walked around by the river and then head to uptown to have dessert. This place is called Lady M and I read good things about it on other poeple's blog.
It is on 78th st between Madison and Lexington. The store is very small but had a few tables there also. When we went there, there was a line of people buying cake. We were lucky to find a table right away. It seemed like lots of people were buying a cake as whole and take it home.

I had maron cake and my husband had millecrepe. Both of them were so good!
After Manhattan, we head back and went to a outdoor movie event which our car dealership organized. It was in a big field and they built a blow up screed and showed "Italian Job".

We watched from our car. It was first time for my husband to watch a movie from the car and it was great experience for him. Plus, we met some nice people at the event so it was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad is pretty popular salad in the U.S. I had it the other day at a restaurant and I loved it so I decided to make it at home for dinner.

Normally, you also need cubed cooked chicken, feta cheese and boiled eggs but I didn't have chicken and feta cheese so I skipped it and I used sharp Cheddar cheese instead of feta cheese. I also forgot to add boiled egg....

I used crispy bacon (microwaved for about 5~10mins), avocado, tomato over chopped Romain lettuce.

For dressing, I mixed Dijon mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, fresh garlic (grated) and Worcestershire sauce.

My husband absolutely love this salad. He even said that this might be the best salad he had ever had. I was so happy to hear that. This is so easy but looks pretty and taste great. Plus, it is very satisfying meal.
Next time, I will try to remember adding boiled eggs. This must make it look even prettier. I recommend this beautiful Cobb salad for your next meal! LOVE IT!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Big Flan

The other day, I made Flan for the first time. My mom used to make these when I was little but I never tried it myself since it seemed difficult. I was reading a Flan recipe from a magazine and it didn't sound too difficult so I decided to make it.

Mixing ingredients were not difficult but the difficult part for me was the baking part. In the recipe, it says bake for about an hour in 300F oven and I did. But it was no way near setting. It was still just liquid. Maybe our oven is not as strong as the regular oven out there. So I had bring up the heat to 350F and bake it for about another one hour. Finally, I got want I wanted.

After cooling down and resting in the fridge for 2 hours, I flipped it over and here it is, beautiful big Flan. It tasted really good. I think this might be a good dessert when we have some people over because this is too big for just two people :-)

You can also make those in a small individual container which my mom used to do but I think it is fun to have this one big flan also!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Things I ate this past few days

This past few days, I ate some things which I bought from Trader Joe's.

One of the things which I always buy when I go to Trader Joe's is Edamame. It is soy bean and very popular item in Japan. I grew up eating this so it is very familiar to me but it seems like Edamame is getting quite popular here in the U.S. also.

I love the fact that it is getting popular here and I can find this in many of the regular supermarket now a days. My husband loves it also and it is very healthy snack/appetizer. And most of the people I know love this. I buy a few bags at a time and keep in the freezer so we can have healthy snack any time.

I also gave it a try for Trader Joe's Pizza. I am not crazy about pizza but I like BBQ flavor pizza. It has some chicken and red onions on top and tasted really good. It was smaller than I thought but I think it might be perfect size for two if you have a side dish like Edamame.

Also, some other night, I made Kakiage Soba. Kakiage is vegetable tempura made with yellow onions and carrots. Soba is buckwheat noodle. This is also a popular dish in Japan. This Kakiage is frozen kakiage which I found at Trader Joe's. They call this "Vegtable Bird's Nest". This is great because I often want just one of these to add on top of my soba noodle and I don't want to fry tempura just to make one thing. This time, I added some green onion and spinach in the soup.

Speaking of Tempura, I want to eat Shrimp Tempura. I love big shrimp tempura. Maybe I should make it sometime soon.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Omelet Rice

This is another popular dish in Japan. It has fried rice with some vegetable which is flavored with ketchup and covered with omelet. I wanted to use the frozen mixed vegetables which I had in my freezer so I made this with lots of vegetables in it.

First, I sauteed some sausage and onion in a pan.
Then, added frozen mixed vegetables. I also added some asparagus which I had in my fridge.

Then, add cooked rice and saute. 
Add some ketchup. If you would like you can also add salt and peppers.

Shape the rice on a plate.
Then, cover it with eggs which I made separately. (I just cooked the eggs very thinly on a frying pan.)

Tuck the side in and decorate with Ketchup. I tried to make a heart shape with Ketchup but I couldn't. Oh well. 

This is easy and good. Even though I don't like green peas, I was able to eat them in these. But I think it would have been better without green peas.....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Japanese Karaoke Box in Manhattan & Indian Dinner

After we had Chinese dumpling in Flushing, we head to Manhattan to meet up with some of friends. Since we couldn't do Karaoke on Sat night, we decided to go again. (This time I made a reservation.)

In American, typical Karaoke is at a bar singing in front of all the strangers but in Japan, we have Karaoke box. It is a small room with sofa and karaoke machine. You can rent these rooms by hour per person. This time we went with 6 people and I was the only Japanese so this was first time Karaoke box experience for everybody else.

In the beginning, we were not sure what we wanted to sing but when my husband started to sing, I think we felt more comfortable and start adding songs and singing. I sang some Japanese songs and I also tried English songs but English songs are difficult for me. I need to practice more English songs.

Anyway, we had a lot of fun at Karaoke and promised to go again. Next time, we should make a list of songs which we want to sing before we go.

After Karaoke, we went to have Indian food at a restaurant in Midtown called "Bay Leaf".

We ordered bunch of different dishes and shared.

These are some appetizers which I don't remember names. (One of them is samosa, that is all I know)

This is my favorite okura dish. I just love them!

Chicken Tikka Masala.

The front is spinach and cheese and in the back you can see lamb dish.

Puffy bread.

We also order some rice and Naan.

All the food was good and the service was excellent. The only thing was that all of the items were not spicy at all. I was expecting something little bit more spicy. Maybe they thought we can not handle spiciness. Next time, we definitely have to tell them to make it spicy.

Anyway, I had a wonderful day and it was perfect! On the way home, we took some photos of Manhattan night. It is amazing that we live in NY.

Friday, September 10, 2010

US OPEN & Delicious Dumpling

On Sunday, we spent all day at beach playing beach volleyball (not me... I am horrible with any kind of sports. My husband and our friends were playing). After the beach day, we went to a shopping mall but we didn't know mall close early on Sunday. When we arrived, almost everything was already closed...

Well, on Monday we went to U.S. Open. This year, we didn't have ticket but we heard that we will be able to get some outer court ticket at the box office so we went there. Unfortunately, it was sold out. So we walked around the flushing meadow park and have a nice picnic.

Some people might remember this from the movie "Man In Black". The park was full of families and everybody was having a great day. It was a perfect day to walk around the park. Perfect temperature, Perfect weather.

After the park, we were hungry so we went to Flushing which is an area where there are so many Chinese and Korean stores. There were one dumpling restaurant which I wanted to go so we went there. I heard that this place is popular and normally you have to wait for a while to get seats but when we got there, it was already around 3:00pm so we didn't have to wait. However the restaurant was almost full at this time. This place is called "Nan Shian Dumpling House". They are famous for their handmade dumplings.

We ordered crab dumpling and seafood crispy noodle.

Both of them were really really good! We were so happy that we came here. The dumplings were excellent. You have to be careful eating this kind of dumpling because there are some soup inside and it is extremely hot! But this soup is very tasty and yummy!!

We have to go there again! I love these dumplings. Plus, it is very affordable.

After late lunch, we head to Manhattan and had fun. I will write about that tomorrow!