Friday, January 31, 2014

Banh Tet

My sister in law, Diem, bought a whole bunch of these and shared them with all of the sisters. It's a Vietnamese dish that's usually made at Vietnamese New Years.

It's made with mochi rice on the outside.

And pork and mung beans on the inside. 

She also gave us some pickled radish that you're supposed to eat with it.  

 It was OMG soooooo good. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Lilikoi fruit are still falling into our yard, although the tree is looking sparser now. I have around another 2 1/2 cups of juice in the freezer.   


Mich made her jelly!  She didn't use the required amount of sugar and thought it came out a bit too tart so she's gonna try again. She used a recipe from My Lilikoi Kitchen website. Click here for the recipe.


I liked it with some cream cheese and cracker.


The people at work liked it too.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Iced Tea

I really like this iced tea . . . especially since I got it for only 89 cents. I bought three cartons.  It was on sale at Foodland.  Sorry, this was a few weeks ago, so it's probably not on sale now.  I think the regular price was $2 something.  

BTW, I didn't buy the potato chips in the background. Wendell did, even though I keep telling him not to buy it because I end up eating the whole bag.  I think he wants me to get fat again.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

NeilMed Sinus Rinse

A couple of days ago, Wendell's good friend Steven dropped off a bottle and some packets of this NeilMed Sinus Rinse. Steven says that his doctor recommended it to help with his sinus problems.  He uses it twice a day on a regular basis.

I used it immediately after he left.  It is absolutely WONDERFUL.  It got rid of all the crap in my sinus passages and it made them feel so clear. 

First thing the next morning I used the rinse again, with even better results.  I don't normally have sinus or allergy problems, but I can imagine that for the people who do, this would be a Godsend.  I can't wait to get my son to try it.

I got the above picture from Amazon. They sell the kit for $32.83.  Costco's coupon book (effective January 30) shows a similar kit for $3.50 off.  Unfortunately, I don't know what the final price will be. Either way, whether you have allergy problems or not, you should get it.  For real.  I wish I knew about this years ago.  I wonder if it'll help with my snoring problem.  

Monday, January 27, 2014


Here are a few birthday cake celebrations at my working place.













Sunday, January 26, 2014

Out of Commission - Once Again

I wasn't gonna mention it . . . 'cause it's gotten embarrassing that it's happening so often . . . but I'm sick . . . AGAIN.  When I got home from work on Friday, I went straight to bed.  No dinner, no bath, no brush teeth.  No even change clothes.  I was miserable and exhausted.  Wendell says that it's because I lost too much weight!!!! 

My doctor said that this flu is a relapsing one.  He's seen several cases.  Online research says that you can't relapse with the flu.  You get immune.  But you can catch another strain . . . A, B or C.  

Whatever.  All I know is that I need to get better FAST.  I'm totally overdosing on the stuff below.  And do you know why?  Because WE LEAVE FOR THE SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL ON SATURDAY!!!!!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kinda Close, Hah?

Awhile back I was in the Kahala Mall parking lot when I saw this. I kinda couldn't believe it.


I did my shopping quickly (which is how I shop), and when I returned to the parking lot the car was gone.  But I did see this on the ground.  I think the driver didn't even realize what had happened.  Poor thing, yah. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mich's Brie with Balsamic Syrup

Coworker Mich made this super ono snack for us yesterday.  The recipe is from Kitchen Monki.  It was soooo good.  

I'm so mad at myself for forgetting to take pictures of the bricks of Brie coated with the macadamia nut crust.  They looked so good.  I think I was just too excited to eat um instead.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Grandpa and Aunty

I found these old photos in Grandpa's room.



Monday, January 20, 2014

Hoshizaki Ice Machine

I saw these guys working on an ice machine at Walmart.  When I realized that the unit was not just storing the bags of ice, but that it was actually making the ice and bagging them too, I was intrigued.   I stopped and stood there.  I quickly took this picture with my phone. I memorized the brand name.  I wanted to linger and hopefully see it in action, but was afraid that they would soon realize that I was nuts . . . so I reluctantly left.

My son said that Safeway has a similar kind of ice machine, but he said that he doesn't care for the ice that it makes. He said that it tends to melt fast.  But still . . . I think it's so cool.


I tried to search online to find out how much a machine like this would cost.  I wasn't successful.  I wonder, yah?!  Around $20,000  . . . you think?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fellowes Shredder

I started cleaning out Grandpa's room.  It's been a year since he passed.  Fast yah.  Anyway, he has choke paperwork saved . . . some dating back 40 years.  I decided to get a shredder.  After some researching, I got this one from Amazon.  It was about $70.


This is the review that convinced me.  Mostly because my main concern was that it not break after only a few months of use.

This is a pretty good shredder. It can shred paper very well into tiny slices. However, emptying the bin can be a bit of a pain. Lifting the shredder is easy, because there is a handle, but it is also pretty hard, because it's pretty heavy. To shred adhesives (even though it says it can't), put the adhesive on a blank sheet of paper or make one side of the adhesive stick to the other side. Overall, this is a decent shredder and I would certainly recommend it.

UPDATE: 3/1/2010
I still have this shredder. One person said this shredder can handle CD's. Honestly, from how I tested it, it can't. The CD got stuck and I had to use a scissor to finish it through. Do not try to shred CD's. Overall, still a good shredder; able to shred credit cards, unopened junk mail, invoices, and adhesives (if you follow the advice above).

UPDATE: 6/4/2010
Still running strong. This shredder still does the job to get rid of all the extra papers I don't need.

UPDATE: 9/15/2010
Still the best shredder in my house. I owned this shredder almost for 7 months and still one of the best.

UPDATE: 1/22/2011
Almost a year with this shredder. This shredder has took down so many papers and adhesive Amazon labels, this is something that was worth buying. Still no problems with this shredder. Such an incredible product.

UPDATE: 5/15/2011
Almost one and a half year since I had this shredder. Still running strong and I shred loads of paper every week. I oil this shredder perhaps after two or three full loads of paper. Still works like a charm. How incredible is this shredder?

I also got this oil . . .  $11.30 for a 16 oz. bottle.  You're supposed to oil the blades at each bag change, but my bags are kinda small, so like the person in the review above, I only oil after around three changes.
shredder oil

So far, I love the shredder.  The instructions say that after 5 minutes of continuous use, the shredder will automatically shut down for about 20 minutes.  I assume to cool off.  I never experienced a shut down.  Maybe it's because I did the shredding kinda slowly, and I never put in the 11-sheet maximum.  I would shred maybe about 6 sheets at a time.  And if I felt like the shredder was getting kinda warm, I would stop for a minute or so.  I've already shredded about 10 small bags (with more to go) with no hitches or jams. 

I feel bad about not buying local ( I did look) . . . but how can when you can get better stuff for cheaper and not even have to pay for shipping?  No can, yah?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Zach Sobiech

Another Soul Pancake video.  Don't watch this if you're trying to get ready for work and are putting on your eye makeup. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wanna Be Happy?

Do this:

Thanks for sharing, Rand!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Somen 101

I've been on a noodle kick lately . . . maybe because I was so deprived of it for FOUR WHOLE MONTHS while I was on that diet.  A few weeks ago I felt like eating some somen.  I got this cheap $1 something Shirakiku Tomoshiraga somen noodles from Foodland . . . the kine I usually get.


After I got home I looked at the label.  It's distributed by Nishimoto Trading Company of Santa Fe Springs, California. And guess where it comes from. CHINA.  I repeat . . . CHINA.  K, I not knocking noodles made in China.  I know that they make very good noodles.  I just expected somen noodles to be made in Japan.

So, when me and Wendell was at Marukai shopping for New Years groceries I checked out their wall of somen packages. There were sooo many to choose from and I had no clue which to pick. I noticed the words "no Ito" on a lot of them . . . Shirasagi no Ito, Harima no Ito, Ibo no Ito, Banshu no Ito.  Some of you may know that, given too many choices, I end up getting nothing because I can't make a decision.  Luckily Wendell ran into one of our friends so he was busy talking story, which gave me time.  

I finally chose this one, Banshu no Ito.  Don't ask me why. I dunno.  Maybe it was because it had a middle-of-the-road price of $3 something.

This time I made sure it was a "Product of Japan".

I did some research when I got home.  I found out that Banshu no Ito means "Banshu district's thread".  The Banshu area, in the west of Harima, Hyogo prefecture, is one of the outstanding production centers of somen noodles in Japan. Evidence of somen in Banshu dates back 600 years.

One particularly famous brand from the region is called “Ibo no Ito”.  It is made from the highest quality of flour, water from the crystal clear River Ibo and salt from nearby Ako.  The manufacturing process is strictly regulated by the Hyogo Prefecture Tenobe (hand-stretched) Somen Cooperative.  You can find out more here:  Ibo no Ito Somen. Make sure you click on "Grades and Bands" to learn the meaning of the colored bands.

I got this pack from Nijiya Market.  It was $5.49.  

I actually haven't tried the Banshu no Ito noodles yet . . . the one I got from Marukai, but I did eat the whole pack of the above Ibo no Ito noodles.  Hey . . . it's a small pack, okay.  I liked the smooth, silky texture and the very slightly salty flavor.  I would suggest trying it at first with just some tsuyu so that you can enjoy the noodle itself without any overpowering distractions. You're gonna like it.  Trust me. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


So amazing!  I love it that the guy does the food while the girl, donned in a beautiful dress, gets to paint while waiting for her meal to be prepared.  I also really love it that like the invisible bike helmet, a woman is the innovator!

Thanks for sharing, Shar!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Wendell's Salmon Burgers

This recipe is also from Harumi's Japanese Cooking.  Wendell actually made this dish on the same day that he made the Ground Pork Tofu Patties.  So industrious, yah!


12 oz. fresh salmon, finely chopped
1/2 small onion
1 tbs. butter
1 small potato, peeled
4 oz ground pork
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
vegetable oil for frying

Soy Dressing:
3 tbs. shoyu
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. chili paste
sugar to taste

Dice the onion and cook lightly in butter.

Rinse the potato and cut in half crosswise.  Microwave on medium for 2 to 3 minutes until cooked.  Mash and leave to cool.

Mix the chopped salmon and ground pork.  Add the cooked onion, mashed potato and beaten egg.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Shape the mixture into 12 small burgers and fry in oil.

Serve with the Soy Dressing.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Wendell's Ground Pork and Tofu Patties

Wendell got the cookbook, Harumi's Japanese Cooking, as a Christmas present from his coworker, Darren.  I looked through the book and asked Wendell to make this dish, and he did!  Harumi actually made kebabs, but Wendell chose to make patties instead.


12 oz. firm tofu
2 oz. green beans
small bunch fresh mint leaves
small bunch fresh cilantro leaves
6 oz. ground pork
1/4 c. finely chopped onions

For the marinade:
2 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. shoyu
1 tsp. juice from grated ginger
dash salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Wrap tofu in paper towels and place in strainer for 30 minutes to remove excess water.

Boil green beans until they are just cooked. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Chop the mint and cilantro roughly and mix.

Put the ground pork and the marinade into a bowl and mix by hand.

Break the tofu into small pieces and add to the pork mixture along with the beans, cilantro, mint and onion. 

Shape into patties and fry in oil until brown.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

AGU Ramen

Based on the recommendations of several people, me and my mom went to AGU today to check out their ramen.


My iPhone normally takes pretty good pictures to me, but in this small-kine darkened room, it was lacking.  We got there a little after they opened so we were one of the first ones to be seated. A half hour later, the place was full.

Myko recommended the Kotteri Tonkotsu so that's what me and my mom ordered.  While I was taking pictures, my mom tasted hers first.  She kept saying, "OMG, sooooo goood.  Better than the other place (Hokkaido Ramen Santouka)." "Wow, so good.  Better than the other place." 


The Hakata-style noodles threw me aback a bit.  It honestly didn't look good to me.  But one bite removed my doubts.  It was al dente just how I like it.

The egg was perfect . . . not like the other place.

And so was the gyoza. Plus, my mom noted, this place gave us six pieces ($5.25). The other place only had five ($5.50).

Gochisou sama!

Friday, January 10, 2014


Every once in awhile I would find this fruit in our yard.  I never gave it much thought except to kinda wonder where it came from. And then I would throw it in the trash can.

A couple of days ago, there were five of them in the yard.  I was curious so I finally took one into the kitchen and cut it open.


Some of you probably already knew from the picture, but I was surprised.  It was a lilikoi!!!   But there IS NO lilikoi plant in my or my neighbors' yard.  ?????  And yet there were five fruit on the ground.

I went back outside.  This time I looked up. 

And there they were . . . waaaay up high in my neighbor's mango tree . . .  a cluster of lilikoi fruit.  BTW, you DO know which neighbor this is, right?


I texted a few people and asked them what I should do so that the lilikoi wouldn't go to waste.  Mich said that she could try and make some jelly and went online to figure out how to do it.  She got back to me and said that she would need about 2 cups of the juice without any of the seeds in it.

Later in the afternoon, two more fruit fell to the ground.  Hoo hoo!  It's like finding treasure now!  I got around 1/2 cup of the juice that I'm saving in the freezer for Mich.  

I guess I gotta wait for more to fall to the ground.  That's what I read online anyway . . . when they're ripe, they fall to the ground.  Too bad for the neighbor . . . they're falling on our side of the fence.  Awwww . . .