Dec 30, 2009

Fried rice & Chinese Vermicelli Soup

Today is my off. Was chilling at home. Amazed I didn't make and bake anything today!
Jun made dinner for us. It's been ages to taste his meal! Got lucky. Taro loves vermicelli and radish.
We are going to fly to Sydney on January 1st! Can not wait for summer~~~~~~!!!!!

Dec 29, 2009

Dinner with my friends

Last night, I prepared for tonight's dinner.
A whole cabbage again!
Yes, I put one cabbage cut roughly and a chunk of pork into the "le cruiset" and simmered it for around 2 hour.
Just leave it with low heat until the cabbage and meat soften.
During the time, I can browse internet:-)

I referred to the recipe from Naomi Takayama 's cook book. (see my favourite cook book.)
It doesn't have any proper name, but I usually call it "Braised Pork and Cabbage cream".

This sort of dish would be quite helpful when I organize dinner menu. Only if I prepared it by the day before, I just re-heat the pot when the guests come.
No need to rush. It enable me to focus on another dish such as salad and pasta.

Served with tomato sauce pasta. Each
meal is nice but when you eat together, it will become more tastier!

Tonight's highlight is sweets.
Made "Pear and Parmigiano Cheese Moouse."
Learnt it from Italian cooking class.
I have never used Parumigiano as sweets. This is amazing.
At first, thought it might have be rich taste and cannot eat a lot, but the pear helps made it more lighter.
Cannot stop eating~~~~~!!

Need to skip breakfast tomorrow....

Baguettes dance

Baked 2 baguettes. Failed. The taste was supposed to be nice (I hope so. )but the shape was terrible.
Am very depressed. :-(
Have to practice more and more.....

Regardless of my depression, Taro was dancing with holding 2 baguettes and shouting ""Pan Pan Pan(bread, bread, bread!)" !!

That's my son.
He loves breads anyway.

Dec 28, 2009

Deep Fried Noodles

Not sure this kind of noodle comes from China or not. We call it "Katayaki Soba". Katayaki means deep fried. Soba means noodles.

You can find it at any supermarkets in Japan. Not only noodles, but also the seasoning they have. Easy to cook!

I don't like MSG and this sort of chemical seasoning but as for this noodles, I like the tastes! It reminds me a Saturday lunch at home in my school days.

Though you might think I am too much conscious of organic and genuine food or a macrobioticcer or something like that, I just eat what I want to eat. Doesn't matter whether it should be organic or not.
This noodle is supposed to be the junk taste. That's it!

Instead, For Taro-san, I always put various vegetables into the sauce and simmer until enough soften so that Taro,who has only 8 teeth, can eat vegetables a lot!

This is also a good chance to clean up all stale vegetables in the fridge!! :-P

English Muffins

Last night I baked English muffins by grilled pan.
Baked by very low heat. It takes about 50 minutes.
After the first leaven and bench time, baked them.

This method is quite unique, isn't it!

I always bake breads from scratch. Before I used to use a natural yeast called "Hoshino Tennen Kobo", however, the yeast can keep for only 2 weeks in the fridge. It has become an obsession with me. They push me a lot to bake something and I got tired of it. :-(

So recently I prefer to use instant dried yeast, only 1/4 tablespoons for 300g flours. Very few. that's the key of baking yummy bread. The bread using few yeast keeps longer than others and never smells something chemical of yeast.

I hardly put oil, butter, milk and eggs into the dough.
I want to taste the flour by itself . Enough kneading makes it soften.

Re-heat the muffins. Served with "CALPIS" non added salt butter and honey.

This is what I need for breakfast today!


Dec 27, 2009

Simple and Quick breakfast

Since we ate too much last night, made a simple breakfast. Actually, I didn't make it at all.Just cut some fruits and served.:-P

Today's breakfast:
Kellogg's "Frosties "cornflakes with yoghurt, some slices of pears, kiwi fruit and apple.

Taro loves crispy stuff!

I don't like "Frosties" so much but Jun loves the taste.
Recommend non added sugar cornflakes when you want your toddler to have it.
If he/she need some sweet taste, just add some maple syrup!
Maple syrup has lots of nutritions and very healthy rather than white sugar.
When I take lots of white sugar, I would get something wrong with my body such as migraine.

Try not to use white sugar as much as I can.

I don't recommend eating pasta too much for dinner!!
Get fat and add a load for your stomach! Careful!

Two Kinds of Pasta for A Farewell Party

A friend of mine will leave for Hiroshima next week. Had a farewell party at my place.
Made 2 pastas from scratch!
One is " Stracci" with Spinach and Mushroom Cream .Stracci means rag in Italian. The shape is like a lozenge. Not only flour but also potatos in it. Without a pasta machine, you can make it. (A rolling pin is required to make it though.)
The taste is similar to "gnocchi" but the texture is more pasta.
Even if you don't have a chance to make fresh pasta from scratch, this cream sauce is matching with any dried pasta.
Here's the recipe of the sauce. Using a food processor will help you to make it easily.

~Mushroom and Spinach Cream Sauce Recipe~
A half bunch of spinach (100g)
1 /2 pack of "Maitake" (any mushroom you like would be fine.)
1 garlic clove
5 table spoons of unsalted butter( around 60g) ( if you want to taste more healthy, you may use olive oil instead.)
1 pack of fresh cream (200cc)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese as you need
1 Cut two vegetables and crush a garlic. no need to chop them.
2 Heat butter in a fried pan. Add a garlic and sauté until beginning to soften. Add spinach and mashrooms and fried until soften.
3 Take the garlic out. Put spinach and mashrooms into a food processor. Add some salt(around 1/2 tablespoon) and pepper. Mince them.
4 Put minced stuff back into the fried pan. Add fresh cream, stir gently and simmer until boil.

Serves 8

You can keep the sauce into a freezer. It can keep the taste around 1 month. Matching with short pasta.

The other one is called "Strangozzi" which is made from egg white and flour. When I make some sweets such as a "mousse", lots of egg white are left. I always keep them into a freezer. One of the solutions of consuming egg whites, I used to make a baked cake before, however, the calories are horrible. For our family's health, I am making "strangozzi". 4 eggs whites and 320g flours(Italian 00 flour) are for 4 persons.
The texture is a little bit chewy. You may meet a new taste of pasta!

Dec 26, 2009

Tea Time

Baked Pumpkin Pudding.
Served with whipped cream and plune comport.

This is our afternoon teatime!

~Pumpkins pudding recipe(20cm square casserole or pan)~

-caramel souce-
80g sugers
3 tablespoons of water
2 table spoons of hot water
400g pumpkins(net)
400g milk
100g brown suger
4 eggs
150cc fresh cream

1 Preheat oven to 170℃
2 Make caramelized sugar.
2 Steam pumpkins (microwave would be also fine)
3 Combine pumpkins, milk and suger into the food processor.
4 Whisk egg and fresh cream in another bowl until blendid.
5 3 and 4 mix together, strain them using a sieve into the pan.
6 bake for 50 minutes.(when baking, pour enough hot water into baking pan so as to smother)Test with a long toothpick to make sure the centre of the pudding are done.

Serves 9.

Japanese style breakfast

We usually have breads for breakfast, but sometimes my husband requests white rice!(he doesn't like brown rice so much. Neither does Taro. I love it though.) He's got fed up with breads recently since I am baking too much!

Today's menu:

Roasted Salmon called "Kasu-duke".
Steamed Pumpkins
Turnip Pickles
White rice with water dropworts ,"Seri" and deep fried bean curd called "Aburaage".
Miso soup with Taro.

Seri is one of Japanese herbs tasted like watercress. The smell is beautiful.
Taro and Jun like this sort of meals very much. They are typical Japanese!

In regard to Miso-soup, I always make soup stock from "Niboshi" which are small dried fish. Once you make it from Niboshi, you will not use instant soup stock any more. This is the genuine Miso-soup and we will never get tired of the taste.

Dec 25, 2009

Christmas Cannelloni

Joined a Christmas Party at my friend's place.
Brought my home made cannelloni and roasted ram.( I missed shooting ram. It was really beautiful though....)

Cannelloni are rectangular pasta sheets that are rolled into a cylindrical shape encompassing a filling which are ricotta cheese and spinach.

See the green and red colour!
Cannelloni is the best dish for Christmas!

If only you stocked tomato sauce and white sauce in the freezer, it would be quite easy to make it. :-) I always keep them in the freezer.

Everyone was pleased with it. I am happy:-)

make sure that don't tell anyone about calories when eating.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2009

A Cabbage Ragu Sauce Pasta

Once a week, "Radish Boya" which is the organic food delivery service distributes various seasonable vegetables they choose to my place. It depends on the harvest, living area and climate, so we have no choice to select them. Though it might be inconvenient, for me, this is a challenging to make new recipes and great opportunities to meet new and rare vegetables.

Recently, somehow cabbages come quite often to my place. It causes me some trouble. Cannot come up with something new recipe on cabbages! How many cabbage recipes do you have? Can't you consume one big cabbage for a week?

Ragu sauce is the answer.

The good point of ragu sause is that I can consume loads of vegetables. In this case, aside from tomatos, one onion, one celery and a half of carrot,I used one whole cabbage!
Yes, I used one whole cabbage in the sauce. It worked out!
In regard to meat, I used 200g minced beef and pork only. I never use soup cubes. Believe the power of vegetables!

As for the pasta, I made them from scratch.
When I usually make them, I get them into the freezer in case whenever we want to eat . It helps me a lot, especially I don't have enough time to cook. Usually when you boil spaghetti, it takes around 10 minutes, whereas frozen fresh pasta, it takes only 3minutes!
If you have a pasta machine, I strongly recommend to make it from scratch. It will be your special fast food, plus no need to be bother about "al dente" ! :-P

Dec 23, 2009

Holiday Brunch

Usually, early-bird Taro wakes us up but when it comes to a holiday, he doesn't wake up early somehow... Why?

For brunch, I made pancakes. This is very nice! Especially when adding rhubarb jam, it will be more lovely taste. I love the colour of rhubarb. In Japan, they are so expensive that I cannot afford to buy them. But luckily, the shop "Kinokuniya" sells them with low price some time when they get old.

This rhubarb is made in Holand. one package is 198yen. But proper price was more than double. Perhaps 598yen or something. I often go to patrol at the store to check the rhubarb.Yes, rhubarb patrol! This is one of my routine works. :-P

Dec 22, 2009

Curry Udon for Lunch

One of the joy of making curry is that we can enjoy it next day too!
So as not to feel leftovers, I need to think up something fresh but don't want to take much time to cook.

It takes only 1 minutes to boil Udon. To add some Dashi soup and soy souce, made curry soup. When these two mixed plus add some Japanese onion, then beautiful curry udon are done!

Taro is loving it! :-D

Dec 21, 2009

Chicken and Root Vegetables Curry

When winter has come, I want to eat seasonable vegetables such as raddish, lotus and burdock. These are very typical Japanese vegetable. Usually people would use these stuff to make "Tonjiru” which is the one kind of Miso soup. But I would like to make something new.Thus I made root vegetables curry and brown rice.
When I make Japanese style curry, I always prepare for brown rice. Somehow these are matching very much. Both root veggies and brown rice have loads of fibre. When you feels constipation, this meal will surely help you :-P

Roots vegetables(radish, lotus, burdock, taro, carrot etc.)
Chicken thigh (Pork would be fine as well.)
Dashi(Japanese soup stock which is made from Katsuo(bonito) and seaweed.)
Curry paste (Japanese made. sweet one would be suitable for this curry)

-If you have "Liver paste", you can add 2~3 table spoons in the soup. Then the taste would become more thick and rich.
Next time, I will tell you how to make yummy liver paste!

From my small kitchen

Before starting my blog, I am going to show you my kitchen.
Most of the time, I spent here and focus on cooking everyday.
You may be surprised when you know my all meals are created in the such a shabby and small kitchen. Probably my kitchen space is only 16 square meter or something.
Yes, it's too small and very inconvenient, however, in a sense, this is a very compact kitchen. No need to move a lot:-P
Of course, I wish I could have new and bigger kitchen in the future but so far I am managing to cook in there and loving my kitchen anyway.

This blog is for recording our daily meals and practising my English writing.
When you find some mistakes I made, please feel free to correct them. I will revise them as soon as possible!