We’ve got ourselves a Mexican fiesta!

Happy last weekend of July and start to the 2020 Olympics! I watched the opening ceremony on Friday night. The Japanese do not disappoint! My peeps; my motherland. So proud! Go Teams USA and Japan! Wishing all the athletes the best of luck!

On Saturday night I witnessed the men’s street skateboarding athletes from the US, Japan, Peru, Brazil, and France showcasing good sportsmanship to one another. Hugging, encouraging, and supporting each other. It brought a warmness to my heart. The world coming together.

I recalled my very first trip to Japan in 2015. Tokyo was already underway in preparing for the Olympics. A lot of construction building those extraordinary infrastructures. Amazing! They were already selling Olympics merch, too. I bought some hand towels as souvenirs. I remember thinking about wanting to be in Tokyo when the Olympics occurred. Who knew that we’d experience a global pandemic in 2020. So glad I didn’t buy tickets. I hope all who did were able to get a refund. Sending good energy that cases don’t soar out-of-control during these next couple weeks in Tokyo and amongst the athletes and all who are involved in making the Olympics happen. I’m looking forward to watching my favorite sports: gymnastics, swimming, and diving.

We’re highlighting on two dishes I made: rice pilaf and Mexican pinto beans, aka frijoles de olla. I was extremely nervous to make the rice pilaf on the stove. Every time I used to make pilaf on the stove, my rice would turn out mushy. Thank goodness for rice cookers! It’s a staple in almost every home in Hawai’i and especially amongst Asians. I learned over the years that a rice cooker can be very handy in cooking all sorts of foods, besides rice. There’s a Buzz Feed article I came across years ago. I’m glad the link is still active: https://www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/rice-cooker-recipes

As suspected, my first attempt at making the rice pilaf turned out mushy. Ugh! While my taste testers enjoyed the texture, I certainly didn’t. I had another go at making it. This was unacceptable to submit to my instructor. The second time, I didn’t follow the recipe to “the T.” I added in less liquid than the recipe called for and hoped it would be enough to create a “just right” texture and consistency. Phew! Thank God it worked! My second attempt turned out perfect! And boy, was it delicious! Or should I say, addicting! It was buttery, light, fluffy, and somewhat chewy (in a good way). The dish included butter, chicken broth, and onions (brunoise style cut 1/8″ x 1/8″ x 1/8″). I didn’t know rice pilaf required baking for 18-20 minutes after boiling on the stove top. Whaaaat? Yep! It helps the rice absorb the liquid and creates that fluffy texture. Ooh whee!

Onto the frijoles de olla. That was pretty simple and self-explanatory. I soaked the pinto beans overnight. Any dried beans needs to be soaked overnight before cooking. Also, they’re to be seasoned last, after the beans are fully cooked. If they’re seasoned before they’re tender, the beans won’t cook properly. I learned something new! The Mexican pinto beans included the following ingredients: sliced onions, and chopped garlic and jalapeños. All ingredients are thrown into a pot, covered in water. They’re to be brought to a boil and then to a simmer until the beans become tender. Once the beans are tender, lard, or white fat from pig, is added. Lard can be substituted for butter, which is what I used. Bam!

Have a marvelous new week ahead!

Stay safe,

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!

 

A simple soup, with some experimenting!

Happy Veteran’s Day weekend! Mahalo to all of our troops, active and retired, for their sacrifice to this Nation!

I was asked by one of my besties to make a simple soup on her wedding day to have for lunch, as her family and I were prepping for the evening’s ceremony and reception. The plan was to boil chicken broth and throw in some frozen mixed vegetables. But as I was mixing the soup, seasoned with pepper and garlic powder, I decided, “hey,” let’s see what it would taste like to add a few eggs, along with some lemon juice to give it a kick! You know me and experimenting! Well, the soup turned out pretty good! I enjoyed it and so did those who drank it. Mmm mmm! I am so making this again this weekend, and experiment even more!!!!

Happy weekend!