Hungry girl's diary

Introducing easy and healthy everyday Japanese home cooking.
<   2011年 01月 ( 20 )   > この月の画像一覧
牡蠣と豆腐鍋 oyster and soft tofu hot pot

Off to the hill again?!

It's gotten so dark and there were only a few left at the slope...and then he found...

A giant snowman someone made. My son is not happy....on contrary, he's actually very bitter that someone got to make it before he did. I wish he kept his competitive feeling to something math or ELA.....oh well, who am I kidding....he's my son, it's in his genes.

then off he went....rolling, rolling....

rolling...rolling.... wind was whistling.....I was "icicling"(turning into an icicle...get it?)

出来た!で、何でパンダ? たぬき? 何、それ?
Tada! Done! But dude, why panda?or racoon? or what is is????

Hard to say bye...I kow...oh,you named him, that's cute. what?! Did you just tell him you'll be back again tomorrow?? REALLY????

It was brutal...I'm cold to my bones. I'm desperately need for this!

Oyster and soft tofu hot pot...piping hot! Aaaahhh, heaven!
by hungry-witch | 2011-01-28 12:33 | dinner
雪キャンディー honey brittle over snow
I spent my teen years in Vancouver, Canada. It barely snowed, but once in a while, we had some good accumulation. My friend's mom made us this amazingly delicious maple syrup brittle which she poured the hot mixture of maple syrup and butter over fresh snow. Boy that was fun. So, for today's kid's class, I thought I'd recreate my good old memories.

First, off to the park to collect some clean, fresh snow.....well that was the plan. It turned out that children weren't so picky about the quality of the snow. Some weird snow also went into their collecting bags...yikes.

Oh well, at least everyone is having tons of fun. Riverside park in a snowy day is packed with surprises. We passes by a person cross country skiing and guess what we encountered?!

A hawk! For real! Awesome!! Kids had a blast!

Now it's time to make the brittle mixture. Put 2 cups each of sugar and instead of maple syrup, honey and a pinch of salt into the pot and bring the temperature up to 300F. When it reaches that temperature, put 1 table spoon of butter and mix well.

The authentic version is to put the hot mixture onto the snow directly. Well, I was looking at the snow children collected.....not exactly "selected" snow. I've decided to put silicon pad on the snow and then put the mixture to cool. Yes, yes, it's not as good as the direct snow version, but hey, that's the price for living in the city. Besides, children loved the end product and we had so much fun. It's all good!
by hungry-witch | 2011-01-28 12:07 | cooking class
温かつけ蕎麦弁当 cold soba noodle&hot dipping sauce bento
Seriously, it's co..cooold. My knee almost gave out while walking to the subway station. Day like this, I bet he'd want something warm for lunch. The new thermos bento box truly is a life savor.

Soba is ice cold to prevent from going soggy and soft. The dipping sauce is piping hot. Both go into the thermos jar and my boy will have a soba blast for his lunch. This super bento box is really hot!
by hungry-witch | 2011-01-28 11:20 | lunch box
大根のお漬けもの home pickled daikon radish

Home pickled daikon radish. Pickled with salt, konbu kelp, chili and ginger for a couple of days in the fridge. Crunchy and slightly sweet.....winter good eats.

All I need now are piping hot fresh cooked rice and miso soup made with Haccho miso (type of red miso from Aichi region). Miso is like what cheese is like to French. There are hundreds of different types. Just for red miso, there are many varieties. This Haccho-miso is the darkest and sharpest version of red absolute favorite, but acquired taste. I actually like it better when it sit for a while rather than freshly made. All the vegetables soaks in to the dark miso and change their colors into brown. Not visually attractive, but boy, it's guilty pleasure gourmet.

I'm fine with pickles, but my growing boy won't be happy. Chicken teriyaki to keep him quiet. I always think it's so interest how dark meat is more popular and expensive in Japan and it's opposite here. I guess it's because of the health issue, but true chicken lovers know that dark meat is so much more flavorful than the breast. When I order roast chicken at the China Town, I'm often told the dark meat is already sold out. They know the good stuff!
by hungry-witch | 2011-01-25 19:15 | dinner
インド人もびっくり! Strange curry....

三重大学カレーって。。。船長おすすめって。。。どうしよう。大学と船長さんとカレー、不思議な説得だと思うが日本の人は『お〜、船長さんがすすめるんだから、旨かろう!』と買うのだろうか。そうだ、家の母は買ったんだ。だから送って来たんだもの。 偶然遊びに来たインド人の友達に見せたらびっくりしていた。正真正銘インド人もびっくりカレーである。そしてびっくりした後大笑いしていた。インド人大笑いカレーとも言える。
My mom sent me this curry from Japan. It says "Mie University Curry" and "highly recommended by the captain of the ship". Now I've been away from Japan for a while, but I don't recall University nor captain being linked to good curry there. I don't know how Japanese people are enticed to a curry raved by the captain....but wait, my mom bought this! My Indian friend who happened to drop by got a kick out of this. I don't know about the taste, but this sure had a huge impact on a true curry connoisseur .

curry bento for my curry lover boy.
by hungry-witch | 2011-01-25 12:12 | lunch box
野菜スープ vegetable soup
いつもスープを作る時は必ずチキンとか魚などのストックで作るのですが今日は野菜だけで作ってみました。風味づけにニンニク、ローリエ、ローズマリーなどを入れてじっくりコトコト煮ます。野菜だけなのでスッキリとしていて, とても優しい味わいになりました。たまにはこういうスープが嬉しいです。
Usually I use either chicken or fish stock for making soups. Today, I've decided to make "pure vegetable" soup. For an extra flavor burst, I put garlic, bay leaf and rosemary and simmered for a long time with low heat. An ultimate "slow food". The end result was absolutely heavenly. So clean, but gentle and comforting taste.

Basically, I just wanted to clean up the fridge. Cabbage, carrots, celery, onion and a little bit of nappa cabbage. Nappa cabbage adds some sweetness to the soup, so throw a little in you next soup. Something different, something fun!

Put a little in my son's bento box the next day. We all know soup and stew taste better the next day!
by hungry-witch | 2011-01-25 11:35 | dinner
大工さん弁当箱 thermos bento box

My boy who was visiting Japan over the winter break brought this back. Guess what's inside?

My son always request to bring miso soup to school, so his grandma got this for him. Now, he can bring warm rice as well as miso soup....what more can you ask for a 9 year old lunch box? Spoiled? Now he has to bring out the garbage before going to school....balance, baby, balance!

This bento box set is so well made. No leak and keeps miso soup and rice warm till lunch time. Today, I put some chicken cutlet on the rice to keep them warm as well. This is what middle aged Japanese business men would love to have for their lunches....kindda concerened the same thing rocks my 9 year old's world.
by hungry-witch | 2011-01-25 11:17 | lunch box
好き嫌い対策 How to fool your picky eater!

I've been teaching children cooking for a while. I realized how children start eating things which they never even touched by little coincidence, such as cooking by themselves, with friends or presenting the ingredients in different way. I found out that children love to have "control" (well, who doesn't?!), so if you let them take charge without so much grown-up direction during the cooking process, the odds are they'll eat their enemy food. Today, I had them make their own dipping sauce and dressings. There were no recipe nor any rules....well except fort this one. "What ever you make, you're responsible!" Ready, set, go!

First, we made potato salad. Who can peel the potato first?

This potato salad looks ordinary, but there nothing ordinary about it. Kids put curry powder, orange champagne vinegar, soy sauce, etc. It looked very random, but they were making sure to taste it during the process. The end product tasted pretty good. Even a child who's not too crazy about veggies scooped herself a second. Hooray, it's working!

Now the fun part. I put bunch of seasonings on the table and had them make their own dipping sauce for chicken cutlet. It was just like making a magic portion. Kids love these creative that I think about it, when my son was a bit younger, he put all my super pricy anti-wrinkle cream into a bowl and mixed with toothpaste, eraser pieces, etc to make his own magic portion. That was painful to even remember..... I learned to have him make his own sauce to distract him from my beauty products....we live and learn.

Breading chicken cutlet

Golden brown, super flaky and crispy!

Tastes even better with your own sauce!

No more sauce? Gatta make some more!
by hungry-witch | 2011-01-20 22:49 | cooking class
肉味噌 sweet miso sauce with minced meat

I had some leftover minced meat. Sauté it with red miso and mirin and you'll have an amazingly tasty and useful miso sauce which keeps up to a week in the fridge. Pour this over warm tofu or even on salad for a quick and tasty main dish. Super easy and super yummy, my kinda cooking!
by hungry-witch | 2011-01-19 09:42 | dinner
母の秘密兵器 mom's secret weapon
Today is Martin Luther King Jr.'s B-day...and that means no school. Personally, on a cold day like today, I just want to stay home and sip some hot tea all day long, but with my son in the house, that's not an option. I don't want to risk our apartment being destroyed by my bundle of energy. But it's freezing out side....especially the park with the wind from the river. On top of everything, I used up all my life saver hot packs the other day. What a mom to do? I have my secret weapon....ha, ha!

Ta,da! Guess what this is!

Baked Potato! When I was in England, I ate this almost everyday at the University dormitory. I really got sick of it but now, I kinda reminisce it once in a while.....I like it simply with butter, salt and pepper. Can't go wrong!  You might be wondering why the baked potato is my secret weapon....well, here is why. Put one each in both pockets of the down coat. Yes, it's potato hot pack! It'll be a good snack as well...brilliant, aint it?! Oh, but just one thing. I should never be in any accident. Imagine ER crew finding potatoes from my clothing...that would be about awkward moment!

This is not a potato. It's a yellow football. Upon my son's request, I had to play football catch with him at the park. Now, I have never played football....I have no clue how to throw nor catch. Interestingly, when my son and I, two horrible football throwers were struggling in the park, some enthusiastic middle aged men (4 in total) stopped to give us some advise. I guess when it comes to football, especially after the super bowl, men in general have such a special connection to anything to do with this oval ball....they can't just walk away from bad football catch!
by hungry-witch | 2011-01-18 14:29 | outings

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