Easter Genesis

Happy Easter and Resurrection Day! May your Easter weekend be filled with love, peace, happiness, and many blessings, today and always.

Did you know that pink is one of the colors of Easter? My favorite color as well. According to a Southern Living article (2019), pink represents hope and brand new beginnings. Perfect for the my mindset this Easter and spring season.

This year, I’ve added spring to my favorite seasons. I had an “aha” moment. We are generously given so many opportunities to “start over” and live a new life every day. Leave the past behind and continue moving forward as we learn from our mistakes and make better choices the next day. We proceed with perseverance and stay the course on this journey of life. Literally, we have a fresh pristine start every single day. Others believe that every January 1st is a fresh start as we ring in the new year. Furthermore, some believe that the new year truly begins on the Lunar New Year, which varies from year to year. A new year can also begin during the spring season and on Easter Day.

I’ve been reminded to be kind to myself and take things day by day. As New Year’s Day 2021 approached, many of us hoped and wished for a better year as the clock struck midnight. Lunar New Year came and we had those same wishes for the Year of the Ox. Now that spring has begun, I’ve learned to appreciate new life, more sunshine, and fresh beginnings. And today, on Easter Day, it feels like a new dawn all over again.

2020 was a tough year for many of us. Just the same, some of us still feel like we’re living in 2020, a year later. Still feels like Groundhog Day in some sense. I’ve experienced periods of that this year. We’re 1/3 into 2021. The year is far from over yet. I’m still believing for an exceedingly superb year. Let the rebirth begin!

One of the traditional dishes eaten during the Easter holiday is lamb, which is this week’s featured dish. According to Waring (2018), the people of Egypt experienced horrendous sickness and mourned the deaths of their firstborn sons. Therefore, the Hebrew community covered their doors with the sacrificed lamb’s blood so that God would “pass over” their homes. Hence, the meaning of Passover. As Christianity emerged, those newly converted passed on the tradition of eating lamb. Christians also refer to Jesus as the “Lamb of God, as He sacrificed himself to die for all of humanity. John 1:29 in the New American Standard Bible states, “behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Lamb is my ultimate favorite red meat. I love its gamey and distinctive taste. It’s unlike other types of meat, which makes it so unique, delicious, and special.

Cheers to a wonderful Easter season. Continue believing and hoping for all good things. That is my prayer every day for this world.

In peace,

FS x

References

New American Standard Bible. (2020). Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john+1.29&version=NASB

Southern Living. (2019). The real meanings behind the colors of Easter. https://www.southernliving.com/easter/easter-colors

Waring, O. (2018). Why do we eat lamb at Easter? https://metro.co.uk/2018/03/29/eat-lamb-easter-7426513/

Welcome 2021 with Resolutions and Traditional Japanese foods eaten during New Year

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and fun celebration ringing in 2021. It was a fun and loud evening, filled with family, lots of food, drinks, and beautiful and booming fireworks in my neighborhood.

Good riddance, 2020! However, lest we forget what happened and what we encountered over the last year. A year that woke me up, and made me stronger, resilient, and a conqueror because of it.

I love how the first of each new month and year gives us a chance to reflect on ourselves and how we’ll do better and be superior from the previous year.

2021 will be ours to own! I welcome the new year with open arms. I’m ready to rock n roll!

Lucky 21 New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Reflect on positive thinking and affirmations
  2. Be open and accepting to change
  3. Make self-care a daily habit
  4. Choose healthier foods
  5. Hydrate with water
  6. Exercise regularly
  7. Be kind to self and others
  8. Listen wholeheartedly
  9. Forgive
  10. Give from the heart and soul
  11. Keep learning and expanding new horizons
  12. Take care of physical, mental, and emotional health
  13. Stretch
  14. Dream and take risks
  15. Take deep breaths
  16. Meditate and quiet the mind
  17. Dance, dance, dance
  18. Keep setting goals- small or big
  19. Believe, hope, and pray often
  20. Take breaks
  21. Keep loved ones close

Each week of this new year, I’ll be sharing ethnic dishes from around the globe. This week, it’s Japanese cuisine. Specifically, traditional Japanese foods eaten during the New Year.

The featured collage image from L-R:

  • ahi chu toro (tuna belly) and hamachi (yellowtail) sashimi
  • nishime (Japanese stew)
  • fried ebi (shrimp)
  • homemade mochi (with kinako (roasted soybean flour) and azuki red bean)
  • kuromame (black beans with sweet syrup)
  • ōzoni dashi (mochi soup)
  • ōzoni with soba (buckwheat noodles)
  • homemade mochi
  • hot soba with homemade konbu (seaweed) and pork broth. These are some of the foods my family and I eat on New Year’s Eve and Day

When my paternal grandmother was alive, she made a slew of Japanese and local Hawai’i dishes for NYE and NYD celebrations. These are the dishes I remember her making:

  • nishime
  • saimin (local Hawai’i noodle soup) with assorted veggies and char siu (Chinese pork)
  • kazunoko (herring roe)
  • konbumaki (knotted kelp/seaweed)
  • kinpira gobo (braised burdock root) and carrots
  • namasu (vinegar salad)
  • hasu (lotus root)
  • tazukuri (dried sardines)

Gram made everything from scratch and by taste. She didn’t write down any of the recipes. I wish she did. Since she’s been gone, we don’t eat half of the dishes she used to make. I would love to continue the tradition of making her exquisite dishes one day…

Perhaps 2021 may be the year to resurrect these old traditional dishes and put Foodnista’s touch to them. I was able to make my late paternal grandfather’s/grand-aunt’s holiday butter cookies a few years ago. There was no clear instructions to the recipe; only the ingredients. So, I had to experiment and create the recipe on my own. I knew that those cookies would have a different taste to them since they weren’t made from my grand-aunt’s hands. Now, they have my own twist to them and I can call these cookies my own. I hope to do that with the New Years dishes my late gram used to make.

Thankfully, we were able to continue making Gram’s saimin and ōzoni. We put our own touch on these dishes overtime. Our famous local restaurant, Zippy’s, started making nishime a few years ago, so we started ordering from them. My family says it doesn’t taste quite like Gramma’s, but I think it’s close enough!

The significance of eating these Japanese dishes is that they are to bring us good luck, prosperity, and long life for the new year. My family really believes in this. Also, the food is just absolutely savory, and it brings our family together to enjoy the meal as one.

Have a glorious first weekend of 2021!

Peace!

FS x

New Year with the bestest of friends!

I was blessed to have spent the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 with my dear friends. We dined at Chef Chai’s, a Thai-fusion place with my family. My family and I always enjoy the food there. However, we were disappointed that they didn’t have the deep fried whole fish. They had sold-out of the dish before we dined there that evening. Nooo! It must be a very popular dish.

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Butternut squash lobster bisque soup. That was so yummy! I am determined to use butternut squash in my cooking and make a soup.

Ordered the jumbo prawns. Absolutely delicious!

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So glad they had brown rice! It was mixed with coconut milk and ginger. Interesting mix!

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We couldn’t resist dessert- deep fried banana cream cheese with gelato and berries. Oh boy! So good!

Chef Chai
1009 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, 96814
http://chefchai.com/

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.

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

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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~

 

 

 

 

Reflecting on 2018 and embracing 2019

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! As 2018 is coming to a close, I’m reflecting on this past year and embracing the welcome of 2019. I hope 2018 was a great year for you all. I hope 2019 brings more blessings your way! It’s going to be an excellent year!

My family and I are blessed! Our good family friends treated us to a delicious dinner at Haleiwa Joe’s this holiday season. Yummy! They are known for their prime rib. They have limited prime rib daily- and they go fast! It’s first come, first serve. It’s also very reasonable for the portion.

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Look at this bad boy! Wow! I had a taste from my sister… it was to-die-for! Totally worth it!

We just couldn’t stop talking about the size of the prime rib and the price. We were so impressed! It’s really, really worth it!

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I ordered a fish red Thai curry. That was pretty good. Very healthy- haha!

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Had to try the banana bread tiramisu. Mmmm!

Haleiwa Joe’s has two locations: Haiku Gardens in Kaneohe and on the North Shore in Haleiwa.

We dined at the Kaneohe location. The view is gorgeous.

46-366 Haiku Road
Kaneohe, 96744
https://haleiwajoes.com

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Bring on 2018!

It’s almost 2018 in Hawai’i Nei! This year flew by so quickly, including tonight, New Year’s Eve! But I am ready to start fresh and begin a new year. I am grateful that we have an opportunity to start new again every January 1st. We can create new goals and improve ourselves. Be better than the previous year. I’m excited for what 2018 will bring us. It is going to be a great year.

We’re ringing in 2018 with these:

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Mmm, mmm! Can’t wait to cheer with these awesome drinks! They’re non-alcoholic, too!

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We had this moscato for dinner with my family. Not bad! The tropical passion fruit has a real kick to it!

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Bam! Dessert for my bf’s family. Made a peanut butter ice cream pie. Was super simple!

rice dream organic vanilla non-dairy frozen dessert rice pint 2015

Since I’m lactose, I tried this ice cream. Not bad! It’s rice-based. Interesting.

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And added a few scoops of this. Mmmm! I love PB! This powder is awesome!

I blended the softened ice cream, added the PB powder, and blended it all together. I poured the mixture in the graham crust and sprinkled walnuts on top before freezing it. So simple and quick! I think these ice cream pies will be my go-to desserts when I need a to make quick desserts.

I made the same pie for my family, but with soy ice cream. We’ll be having that tomorrow evening.

Wishing you and yours a prosperous 2018! Bring it on!!!

Ozoni New Years tradition!

Happy first Thursday of 2017! Hope the first five days are treating you well.

Every New Year’s Day, I get excited because I get to eat ozoni, a Japanese mochi soup. It’s been a tradition for my entire life. My grandmother used to make it and then my auntie took over after she passed. My grandma used to say that we eat ozoni because it would bring us good luck for the new year. The mochi was what brought good luck and we would have to eat all the mochi that was in our bowl.

Everyone makes their ozoni differently. Some use a shrimp or fish base to make the dashi (or soup), some use chicken broth, like we do. Some add only veggies, some add meat, some add seafood. It’s very interesting to taste other people’s ozoni. I’ve tried two of my other aunties’ ozoni. They both were very different from the one I grew up eating.

Here’s an article about ozoni: http://jpninfo.com/40490

Happy upcoming weekend.

FS

Ringing in 2016 with sashimi!!

Happy New Year!! Wishing my readers a very happy and successful one! Hope all had a wonderful New Years Eve celebration!

Last night, my boyfriend brought hamachi (aka yellowtail) sashimi to our New Years celebration. It was to die for! The fish was tasty and oily (aka fatty)! Not to mention, fresh! That’s the most important!

Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy where the raw fish is sliced into thin pieces. It’s a popular dish during the holidays in Hawaii, especially New Years. Ahi sashimi is the most popular. Costco was loaded with ahi sashimi this past week. I like their sashimi- it’s onolicious!

Please be on the lookout for more postings in 2016! Be safe and happy eating!

Send your emails to: foodnista.soul@gmail.com.

Aloha!