Okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake)

 

Another way to make my children eat vegetable is by making vegetable pancakes where I chop and mix all kinds of veggies into a pancake a mix and serve it with sauce to make it more appetizing.  In my older posts, I have shared my recipe of the Korean Pancake, my children’s ultimate favorite vegetable dish.

This time, I made Okonomiyaki, the Japanese way of cooking savory vegetable pancake.  I used yam flour, wheat flour and eggs for the batter.  The main ingredient is thinly shredded cabbage leaves, then I added fried tempura batter for texture and some chopped scallions.  After grilling the pancake on a non-stick pan, I topped the pancake with aonori (seaweed flakes), bacon (optional), katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and some Japanese mayonnaise.

It was another hit!  My kids love it ♥

Pinakbet (Filipino steamed mixed vegetable dish)

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When I saw this Veggie grab bag ad in one of my favorite Asian grocer (Tokyo Central formerly known as Marukai Market) magazine, I thought the veggies will be more like green beans, carrots, Brussel sprouts but when we went to the market, I grabbed a veggie bag and filled it with cherry tomatoes, okra and mushrooms.  With all that I have, plus my left-over quarter kabocha (a Japanese variety of winter squash), today I cooked Pinakbet.

Store magazine ad for All-You-Can-Fit-In-A-Bag
Store magazine ad for All-You-Can-Fit-In-A-Bag (Vegetables) for $1.88/bag

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Bento School Lunch

Whole-wheat flat bread ham & cheese sandwich, Persian cucumbers, Mr. & Mrs. banana, cherry tomatoes and biscotti for desert

Bento is a Japanese style home-packed complete meal which typically holds rice, fish or meat, pickled or steamed vegetables and some fruits.  Bento is an art and to me it’s a meal I make from my heart to nourish my children’s body and express my love for them by creating simple, satisfying and healthy packed bento lunch. I have tons of bento accessories but I am not an expert like others.  I mix bento making with my American-style lunch box and jarred salads or fruits.  It makes eating more fun and I enjoy hearing stories from my children about how much fun they enjoyed eating their lunch at school. Bento box is easy, just make sure you have simple portioned left-overs or ingredients that can be pre-cooked and stored in the freezer then warmed up before bento assembly.  Bento can even be prepared the night before because the goal of preparing bento is to serve food at room temperature using ingredients that can hold itself fresh until ready to eat within a day.

Whole-wheat flat bread ham & cheese sandwich, Persian cucumbers, Mr. & Mrs. banana, cherry tomatoes and biscotti for desert
Whole-wheat flat bread ham & cheese sandwich, Persian cucumbers, Mr. & Mrs. banana, cherry tomatoes and biscotti for desert
Bento accessory I purchased on Amazon to make fun and cute sandwiches for my kids
Bento accessory I purchased on Amazon to make fun and cute sandwiches for my kids
Big Sister Bento.  I prepared this bento for my elder daughter for school lunch. It includes Paleo turkey avocado wrap, Berkshire sausages, star-boiled egg, baby carrots, sliced kiwi and banana
Big Sister Bento. I prepared this bento for my elder daughter for school lunch. It includes Paleo turkey avocado wrap, Berkshire sausages, star-boiled egg, baby carrots, sliced kiwi and banana
Little Sister Bento - after making the bigger version, I have some left-overs, I made this smaller bento version for my little one.  This one has a heart-boiled egg.
Little Sister Bento – after making the bigger version, I have some left-overs, I made this smaller bento version for my little one. This one has a heart-boiled egg.
Another bento accessory, I bought it for $1.50, it turns the sausages into cute animals
Another bento accessory, I bought it for $1.50, it turns the sausages into cute animals
Bear rice balls (onigiri) filled with grilled salmon (left-over from dinner last night), Japanese fried chicken (Karaage), cherry tomatoes, and Hello Kitty Jello for desert
Bear rice balls (onigiri) filled with grilled salmon (left-over from dinner last night), Japanese fried chicken (Karaage), cherry tomatoes, and Hello Kitty Jello for desert
Bear rice balls (onigiri) filled with grilled salmon (left-over from dinner last night), Japanese fried chicken (Karaage), cherry tomatoes, and Hello Kitty Jello for desert
Bear rice balls (onigiri) filled with grilled salmon (left-over from dinner last night), Japanese fried chicken (Karaage), cherry tomatoes, and Hello Kitty Jello for desert

Super easy Crispy Fry Chicken your family will LOVE

Crispy Fry Chicken Karaage

Cooking made super easy using this pre-packed Crispy Fry Mix from my sister in The Philippines.  She sent this to me and I was super excited to try it.  It’s very easy to make.  I bought my favorite boneless chicken cutlets from a Japanese market.  These chicken parts are from thighs and legs used by Japanese to cook “Karaage” (Japanese style fried chicken).  I just heated my non-stick pan with Canola oil, placed my chicken in a zip-lock bag, mixed in the Crispy Fry powder then deep fry on medium high.

It turned out well.  Extra crispy, juicy and very easy to make.

The Crispy Fry mix is available in Filipino and Japanese supermarkets here in California.

Corn-Flavored Ice Cream – Try it… You will love it!!!!

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My family and I were in Chula Vista, California.  It is a small town in San Diego a few miles to the border of Mexico.  Because of it’s proximity to Mexico, you will feel like you are in Mexico when you walk the streets of Chula Vista’s commercial hang-outs.  A lot of authentic Mexican places to eat.

While waiting for someone, we entered this small place and we didn’t even know what they serve.  Upon seeing the pictures and prices on the wall, it took us about 10 minutes before we could order.  I had to feast my eyes into all goodies before I could really decide what I wanted to taste.

We always want to explore new flavors but when we saw the word “Corn” in the freezer, we just couldn’t say no.

I grew up in the Philippines eating corn ice cream, buying from Filipino ice cream peddlers called “Mamang Sorbetero.”  It’s a classic flavor every Filipino feels nostalgic about.  I’ve seen corn ice cream at Korean markets too.  If you have eaten sweet corn on a cob or canned sweet corn and even frozen sweet corn, it’s the same thing!  Try it!!  I suggest going to a Filipino, Korean or Mexican supermarket in your area.  Good luck and I hope to hear stories from people who will dare taste it (if it’s your first time – wink.. wink!).

What to order? Everything is new to me….
Found it!! Something I know but curious if it tastes the same as the Filipino version….
Sweet corn ice cream. Not too sweet, creamy and soft… I shared this cup with my husband and we enjoyed remembering our childhood days eating “sorbetes” in the Philippines.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Music milestone … there’s always a start to everything

This song is called, “The warm-up,” most difficult for first time piano players like my second daughter, making sure she uses the correct fingers to play each note.  Another musical journey with the second musician in the family.

 

I made Kimchi today!!!!

Kimchi made by Me

November is the usual month of the year that I make kimchi but because our supply wasn’t much last year, I had to make some again.  Today, I just made about 14 pounds of cabbages and 1 medium size daikon for my KKakdugi (cubed radish kimchi).  It took me almost 4 hours to make it and it was all worth it.

My recipe came from my very good friend Maangchi and I have been using her recipe for about 7-8 years now.  A few years back, I posted my Homemade Kimchi blog post, visit the page and enjoy more photos of how to make kimchi plus my personal recipe as adapted from Maangchi’s recipe.

I gave a few jars to some friends.  My family will be enjoying our family dinner with our freshly made kimchi!  Mmmmm.. I must not have lunch and get ready to feast tonight.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a message.  If you search my blog using search word “kimchi,” you will learn more on how to make your own.  Thanks for visiting my Blog.

Nectar for our Hummingbirds

A new friend  at my patio  garden  #hummingbird

Here’s my simple recipe for making nectar for our Hummingbird feeder:

  • 4 cups of filtered water
  • 1 cup of refined white sugar

In a small pot boil water then add sugar and stir until sugar melts.  Make sure that nectar is at room temperature before transferring to hummingbird feeders.  This is a great recipe and they love it!

Important note: Do not use different forms of sugar except White Refined Sugar only.

  

Maíz con hielo (Corn with Ice) at Manila Sunset, National City California

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Maíz con hielo is a cold, sweet and refreshing desert snack in the Philippines.  We used to make these a lot during the hot and humid summer months when we had no school.  It’s a very economical treat and it’s very easy to make even minors can do it themselves (except for opening a canned corn, they will need assistance from a grown-up)

The picture shown on my blog is a special version of Maíz con hielo.  I ordered this from a small Filipino restaurant in National City and their version includes a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a small chunk of Leche Flan (Filipino Custard).  Really, when you want to make this, you don’t need these special ingredients.

Maiz con Hielo with Vanilla Ice cream and custard

Here’s the recipe for Maiz con Hielo

Ingredients:

  • Canned sweet corn (Whole Kernel or Creamed Style)
  • Shaved Ice
  • White sugar
  • Evaporated Milk (or any milk available)…

Procedure:

In a large glass, put as much canned sweet corn that you like.  i usually put 1/4 cup or a little bit more.  Then add the shaved ice, sugar (depending on how sweet you want it to be) and milk.  That’s it!!!  Mix it well before enjoying.  You can add any special ingredients like sweetened fruits, nuts, granola, ice cream, etc.

Easy right?  I hope you can make some and show me some pictures of what you made.  I will make some for my children tomorrow, they love it!

By the way, because we were in a Filipino restaurant, we ordered other delicacies like the Bibingka (Charcoal steamed Rice Cake) and Fresh Lumpiang Ubod (Egg roll Crepe with Palm Hearts and vegetables).

Bibingka (Charcoal Steamed Filipino Rice Cake with salty cheese, sugar and freshly grated coconut
Lumpiang Ubod (Fresh Crepe rolled Palm Hearts and mixed vegetables topped with sweet sauce, peanuts, garlic…