Seventeen of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Comfort Food Made With Love

Happy Monday and last week of 2020! We’re in the home stretch! Let’s make the best of our remaining days of the year. I want to end the year strong! Let’s show 2020 what we’re made of!

The 17th fact that the year has taught and reminded me was:

17. Every day is a blessing and gift.

Despite the year we’ve had, I did my best to see the light and optimism in the cards we’ve were dealt with. It was a tough and challenging year, but I was reminded that every day is a blessing and gift. It’s all about perspective and how you view things. I strongly believe that even with chaos amongst us, we can still see and experience positivity in and from it. I was constantly reminded of how much I have been blessed with. The fact that I get to wake up to start afresh every day is awesome. I have an opportunity to make better choices, be more loving to others, and make a difference. Life is a precious gift.

Last fall, I visited a dear friend in the Midwest. We made dinner together one night (see featured image). It was so special and yummy. My gf made her mom’s Swedish meatballs, which I never had before, and mashed potatoes. Double yum!! I had made Indian chicken curry. We also made rice and green beans. It was a delicious treat we, her family included, enjoyed very much. It was simply lovely.

Y’all know about my passion for cooking and food. Cooking with others brings joy and love in my life. We know that food connects people together. So does cooking. I always feel closer with whom I cook with. It creates a special bond I can’t quite explain. Overall, it’s lovely and cheery.

Wishing all of you a wonderful week. Until tomorrow. Peace!

FS x

Fifteen of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Air Fry Chicken

Hope you all had a peaceful and splendid Christmas. Now, onto preparing for 2021. I’m spending this weekend doing deep cleaning for the new year. It’s a cultural tradition I like to upkeep. Cleaning out the old to welcome the new.

I’ve got five more facts of 2020 lessons. The 15th thing the year has taught and reminded me is:

15. Appreciation of essential items: toilet paper, paper towels, gloves, masks, soaps, sanitizing wipes, sanitizing sprays, and hand sanitizers.

This year we were in desperate need of these in-demand essential items aforementioned that we easily overlook and take for granted. I have such an appreciation for these treasured items. I won’t ever take them for granted again. Across our nation, it was difficult to find TP, paper towels, gloves, masks, soap, sanitizing wipes, sprays, and hand sanitizers for months at the beginning of the pandemic. People would wipe them off the shelves and hoard as much as they could. Stores had to soon implement limitations on how many each household could buy so that there would be enough for others. Now, TP, paper towels, masks, and hand sanitizers are easily accessible again. Yay! However, I still am having a hard time finding gloves, sanitizing wipes, and sprays. Those items are constantly sold-out or not available.

This year, we’ve been very conscientious about germs and bacteria. I’ve always been health-conscious and practice good-hygiene, but since the pandemic, it’s been heightened to a greater extent. I’m constantly washing my hands, cleaning high-touched surfaces, and now, I sanitize groceries and other items that I buy from the store, that are delivered to me, or bought online.

This summer, I hunted high and low for an air fryer (see featured image). Seemed like purchasing an air fryer was on a lot of people’s minds, as it was hard to find. They were sold out in most of the department stores. After a lot of inquiring and driving, I was finally able to get one. I had made fried chicken (see featured image). It wasn’t like the deep fried chicken I envisioned from KFC or Popeye’s. Let’s just say using an air fryer to fry chicken makes it more healthier. The chicken was good. It looked dry, but it taste dry. The texture and the taste reminded me BBQing chicken on the grill. I can’t wait to utilize make more dishes with my air fryer.

Until tomorrow.

FS x

Eleven of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Ground Turkey Gyros

Happy Tuesday! How’s everyone doing as we draw nearer to Christmas Day? I hope the hustle and bustle has come to an ease and y’all can relax and unwind the remainder of this week.

The eleventh thing the year has taught and reminded me is:

11. The privilege to work remotely from home.

I have been so blessed to work from home during our stay-at-home orders and throughout the pandemic, even prior to COVID. My company provides us with a laptop, WiFi hot spot, and mobile phone. We use a cloud-based electronic system and can basically work from anywhere. I’m so grateful for that. I’m also so very thankful that I’m considered an “essential worker” and am able to aid my seniors during this crazy year, even if I don’t meet with them in-person. They need services and the connection more than ever. Thank goodness for the telephone, fax, email, and postal mail. We all need to lean on one another. We’re in this together.

I love Greek food, especially tzatziki sauce. I made my own ground turkey gyros (pronounced “yee-row”) with tzatziki sauce earlier this year (see featured image). It was amazingly yummy. I love ground turkey. It was a very simple and quick dish. I seasoned the ground turkey with garlic salt and garlic pepper. The tzatziki sauce was made with Greek plain yogurt, dried dill, garlic flakes, and pepper. Yum! There ya have it!

Good night, All! Until tomorrow.

FS x

Ten of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Poke

Happy Christmas week! Here is the tenth fact that this year has taught and reminded me.

10. Recognizing the importance of essential and frontline workers (i.e., grocery store workers, postal workers, sanitation engineers, MDs, nurses, social workers, paramedics, teachers, military, etc.).

Since the pandemic began, the spotlight has been heavily focused on the essential and frontline workers. I have the utmost respect for them, as they’re sacrificing their lives while they continue to service us in our communities. Much thank you to all of you– for all the hard work you put into this world to keep it and us going. You will always be appreciated. These people are our true superheroes. They are resilient and strong!

Last summer, my friends and I went camping and BBQ’d some ‘ono food (see featured image). It was so fun! We created such wonderful memories together. Can’t wait until the day we can do this again. We ate some of our local staples- ahi (tuna), tako (octopus), and crab poke. Poke means to “slice” or “cut” in Hawaiian. It was so good! The chicken we BBQ’d was excellent, too! Being outdoors, in the woods, across the ocean, eating yummy food with friends made the experience so merry and refreshing.

Take care and Happy Monday!

FS x

Hello, I’m baaaack!

Howdy All! I’m back. I apologize for being MIA for so long. I hope y’all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I also hope that everyone has been hanging in there and taking good care of themselves, physically, mentally, and emotionally. We’ve all endured a wild and challenging year. We’ve made it to the final month of 2020. The year is almost over. Everyone is eager for this year to end and for 2021 to begin. Let’s finish this last month with a bang!

During the week of Thanksgiving, I created my first ever talk-through video on how to make fresh cranberry-blueberry sauce with red wine sauce. It was quite exciting to make.

You can view the entire video on my Foodnista Soul’s Facebook and Instagram: http://www.facebook.com/foodnista.soul and http://www.instagram.com/foodnista.soul.

I’ll be back to post more soon.

Have a blessed holiday season. Remember to take it one day at a time. Breathe!

FS x

Ground lamb and turkey squash stew

Happy Spring!

In light of a new season, I made a yummy squash stew with ground lamb and turkey and barley rice from Japan. I was inspired by this recipe.

Ingredients used:

  • Ground lamb
  • Ground turkey
  • Large onion
  • Garlic
  • Sprigs of thyme
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic pepper/powder
  • 1.5 bottle of beer (I used Miller Lite)
  • Butternut squash
  • Chicken stock (no salt)
  • Barley rice
  • Flour for thickening

IMG_9179

IMG_9195

Barley rice from Daiso in Japan.

IMG_9196

Ta da! A very tasty stew.

IMG_9197

I wish I had bought more of this rice. It was so delicious!

A healthy, yummy dinner just in time to welcome spring! I was very pleased with this dish.

Now that Honolulu has Daiso, I hope to find this rice there. It was to-die-for!

 

White whine chicken!

Happy Sunday! I was inspired to use my slow cooker again! This time, I made a white wine herb chicken dish. I was inspired by this recipe.

My goal was to not use salt in my dish. I wanted to be really healthy, haha! My plan was just to use Mrs. Dash salt-free herb seasoning, black pepper, and garlic powder, pictured below. However, I realized how important salt is. In the end, I had to add some garlic salt to my dish to bring out the flavor in the chicken. It did not have much flavor even with my salt-free seasonings.

IMG_6577 copyIMG_6578

This was a basic dish, with simple and minimal ingredients. I, of course, modified the recipe once again. I had put the slow cooker on high and cooked it for four hours. But because the entire pot was filled with chicken, four hours was not enough time. I had gone out for the day and when I had returned, the chicken on the top was not entirely cooked. But since we didn’t eat the dish that evening, I didn’t cook the chicken further. I transferred the chicken into baking pans to bake the next day.

Talk about chicken galore! We ate this dish for days, haha! I was chickened out!

Have a great week!

FS~

Good ol’ bourbon chicken!

Aloha!!!

Last year, I had made a slow cooker bourbon chicken. It turned out really yummy. It was my first time cooking with bourbon. That was exciting and super successful! We all enjoyed it! Something different for sure!

I have been loving the slow cooker. It makes life so much easier. Greatest invention ever!

IMG_4868

Bam! The ingredients. It was A LOT! But all so needed to create a delicious sauce!

This is the recipe that inspired my dish. I, of course, made it my own! I’m a tweaker!!!

https://dinnerthendessert.com/easy-bourbon-chicken/

IMG_4878.jpeg

My mouth is watering!

This was so good over quinoa or rice. The sauce was sweet, tangy, and spicy! A little bit of everything. Yummy!

Have a great weekend!

 

Japanese New Year tradition

Happy New Year or あけましておめでとうございます。

In the Japanese culture, we have ozōni (mochi soup) that symbolizes good luck, as well as some other Japanese dishes. When I was younger, my grandma made all kinds of Japanese dishes for New Year’s Eve and Day. Unfortunately, the recipes were all “in her head.” She didn’t write them down before she had passed. So my family and I don’t eat all the different foods she used to make before. But the main thing we know how to make is the ozōni.

For 2020, I will be handed the baton to continue the ozōni tradition. I’m excited to experiment a bit and make the soup my own. Look out for that post in the near future.

I found this article a very interesting read: http://jpninfo.com/40490.

I’ve learned that everyone makes their ozōni differently. I’ve got to try different soups over the years and they are indeed different from the mochi soup I eat at home. It even looks different, too.

img_5890

The soup I eat every year. Recipe that has been in my family for years…

img_5894

Ozōni from Yajima-Ya Japanese restaurant.

The soup-base, or dashi, I’m always used to eating is dark. It’s a shoyu-based soup. I found it interesting that all the other dashi I’ve tried have all been light, such as the one above. The broth is pretty much clear. They’re all still very delicious. Tastes very different for sure, which I love. It’s wonderful to know that ozōni is very unique. I’m always excited to try other ozōni. I always take advantage of that! Can’t have too much good luck for the new year.

I wish everyone a splendid 2019. It’s going to be an awesome year!

FS~

 

 

 

 

Christmas grindz

Christmas came and went. All we did was eat! The holidays is a wonderful time to gather together with loved ones and enjoy delicious foods together. In Hawaii, we have a mixed pot of ethnicities and that means there’s a variety of foods on the menu, plus the local grinds!

We had our annual prime rib, courtesy of Costco. This dish never disappoints. It’s so tasty! It’s pricey, but it’s worth every penny! Yummy!

IMG_5685.jpeg

I also made fresh cream corn for the first time. I came across a recipe on Delish.com.

It’s super simple. The following ingredients included:

  • 2 c. milk (I used lactose-free skim milk)
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 bags of frozen organic corn (you can also use canned corn, too)
  • 1 tbsp. organic sugar
  • fresh black pepper
  • garlic salt
  • garlic powder

I slow-cooked it on high for four hours. My Crock Pot did not have the two-hour feature.

We had leftover bacon from our Christmas breakfast, but forgot to add it in afterwards. Also, decided not to add in the green onions. This dish was a hit, nonetheless! Everyone loved it. Guess this’ll be a dish that will be added to the holiday dinner menu! Yay!

Have a blessed New Year’s celebrations. Be safe!

FS x