Sunday, January 31, 2021

Chopping Onions

I'm not much of a cook, but Wendell's been golfing twice a week lately, so I've been trying to contribute in the dinner department.

I think chopping onions is my least favorite thing to do.  Here's how I do it. 

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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Dd's Barbocoa Beef

Didi says:  This was really yummy!!  And so easy!  Brown meat . . . dump everything in pot . . .



Barbacoa Beef


2# chuck roast, 1½ inch cubes

Garlic salt, freshly cracked black pepper

2 tsp. olive oil

1 c. beef stock

4 cloves garlic

3 chipotle, in adobo sauce

¼ c. apple cider vinegar

¼ c. lime juice

3 bay leaves

1 TB each ground cumin, oregano, onion powder

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Salt, freshly ground black pepper, as needed

1 small onion, thinly sliced

4 oz. chopped green chilies

Service: flour/corn tortillas, avocado, shredded lettuce, pico di gallo, shredded cheese, favorite Mexican rice**


Season chuck with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan over medium heat; brown chuck on all sides in oil. Add stock, garlic, chipotle, vinegar, lime juice, bay leaves and seasoning.

Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover; leaving lid ajar to allow steam to escape. After 1 hour; taste for seasoning.  Add onion and chilies.

Continue cooking 45-60 minutes with lid ajar.  

For service; serve with toppings as desired. Serves 4.

**Favorite Mexican Rice: Cook 1 cup of basmati rice as directed. After rice is cooked; stir in 2 TB lime juice, 1 tsp. lime zest, pinch of kosher salt and ¼ cup chopped cilantro.


Note: This recipe makes a great chili. After 1 hour of cooking, add 12 oz. drained kidney beans and 14 oz. fire roasted tomatoes. Continue cooking on LOW with lid off 45-60 minutes stirring as needed.

Friday, January 29, 2021


I took my mom to Pier 2 a couple of days ago for her vaccination. 

It was very well organized, taking less than 1/2 hour including a 15-minute wait time to make sure that there were no serious side affects.

We go again in 3 weeks for the second shot.    


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Golden Coin Fried Chicken Mix

One of my sisters used this recently to fry some chicken and her son's friend said that it was better than Popeye's!  She said that she picked it up at Times.



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Negative Painting

Here's another video.  It's a little longer than usual . . . a little over 4 minutes.  And I added in music!  

The footage is kinda unsteady because I have the phone in my left hand while I'm painting with my right, but I did click on that stabilization button again when I edited. 

Negative Painting

Here's the finished painting.  The top part of it looks weird because it's an old watercolor pad that I got at the swap meet and the paint doesn't adhere properly.  But I don't mind. The pad has served me well, and after a year it's almost totally filled. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Yesterday's Lunch

I made another short video.  It's about 1 1/2 minutes long.  Been having fun editing the clips.  This time around I learned how to do slow motion.  The first two clips were too short so I had to figure out how to stretch them.  I ended up slowing them down a smidgin, and it worked.

I also learned how to add stabilization.  I think.  I found the button and clicked on it. 

For my lunch I used the stuff below along with leftover Vietnamese Tomato Soup which I just heated up in the microwave.  You can find that recipe here.  


Lunch 01-25-2021

Monday, January 25, 2021

Washi Tape

I saw this bag of washi tape on the ground on a tarp yesterday at the swap meet. Before I said a word, the gal said, "$2 for the whole bag."

I said, "Oh no!"  And I bought it. 


Sunday, January 24, 2021


I'm finding that painting with gouache paint is funner and less stressful than with watercolor.  You can cover up mistakes easier with gouache. 

IMG_6589 2

I followed this YouTube tutorial done by artist Philip Boelter.  He actually did four separate videos for each plant. 

He says this:   "Follow along with your art supplies or simply just zen out to it. These videos of me painting have been known to help with anxiety and stress. Have you ever tried painting with gouache? It's similar to watercolor, but gouache it's more opaque. Please, enjoy and zen out to me painting! "

I enjoyed painting along with him.  It really was stress relieving and zen-like.  

And BTW here's my finished peony drawing. 
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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Dd's Italian Meatball Wedding Soup


italian meatball wedding soup

Italian Wedding Soup 

Adapted from Food Network, Giada DeLaurentis


Turkey Meatballs:

1/2# ground turkey

2 TB breadcrumbs

2 TB ricotta cheese

2 TB onion, minced

2 TB celery, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 large egg

½ tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 TB olive oil


2 TB extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 

1 small onion, chopped 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

4 c. chicken broth 

½ bunch spinach washed, roughly chopped 

2 oz. ditalini or fregola pasta  

Chopped fresh parsley, for topping 


Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl combine turkey, bread crumbs, cheese, onion, celery, garlic, egg, basil, salt and pepper. Shape into 12 1-inch meatballs. Place meatballs onto baking sheet. Brush with oil. Broil until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.


Warm olive oil in a medium saucepot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until onion has softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, spinach and pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Add meatballs and simmer, uncovered, until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle each serving with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan and parsley.

Serves 2 as entrée, 4 appetizers.

Friday, January 22, 2021

360 Degree Spirited Away Railroad Trip

 Veeeery cool.  Make sure to look behind you.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Two Tiny Toys

I found these two toys at separate times awhile back at the swap meet.  You'll see just how tiny they are when my hand appears in the video.  They're noise activated and tend to feed off each other.  Once things quiet down a bit they'll go to sleep.  The mouse will even snore before sleeping.

You can check out more like the mouse by googling "Micropets".

Two Tiny Toys

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

On Da Desk

I've been working on this peony for the past 3 days . . . off and on . . . in between fixing woven messes and videotaping rain . . . and checking out Lightening Deals on Amazon. 


I'm trying to copy this photo that I found online.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A Rainy Day

 Here's a 2-minute video that I shot with my iPhone and edited with iMovie yesterday.

A Rainy Day

Monday, January 18, 2021

Sunday, January 17, 2021


I couldn't finish this piece properly and got mad. I'm supposed to be able to pull the white strings through, but they're stuck and I end up puckering up the weaving.   I threw it in the trash can.  

It's now two days later, and I just fished it out to try again.  

Made me more mad.  


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Dd's Cajun Gumbo





1/4 c vegetable oil

½ c + 2 TB flour

1 small onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1/3 c red bell pepper, diced

1/3 c green bell pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

**1 TB cajun seasoning

1/4 # andouille sausage, ½-inch pieces

4 c chicken stock

*½ # boneless skinless chicken thighs, ½-inch cubes (precooked)

*1/4 # medium shrimp/crab, shelled and deveined (precooked)

Garnish: sliced green onion, cooked white rice


1 1/4 tsp paprika

1 tsp each salt, garlic powder

½ tsp each black pepper, cayenne pepper

½ tsp each oregano, thyme

½ tsp each cumin, dry mustard

¼ tsp ground bay leaves

**In a mixing bowl; combine all ingredients well. Set aside.


Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add flour, stirring constantly until roux is a deep golden brown, about 22-25 minutes. Add onion, celery, peppers and garlic. 

Cook until vegetables are softened. Stir in Cajun seasoning; cook for 1 minute. Add chicken and sausage. 

When chicken is cooked through add stock, mixing until blended well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes. 

Stir in the shrimp/crab; cook 5 minutes, just until seafood is cooked through. Remove from heat. Top with white rice and green onions. Serves 2-4.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Simple Snack

 Sometimes I enjoy kuromame with green tea in the mid afternoon.

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Wendell's Ginger-Lime Chicken


Wendell found this recipe in the Star-Advertiser, but it is originally from the NYT Cooking site. Wendell grilled the chicken on the hibachi, but the recipe says you can also cook it in a skillet.


1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime zest (from about 2 limes), plus lime wedges, for serving
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
black pepper, to taste

Pat chicken dry and season all over with salt.

In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, lime zest and ginger; season with more salt and pepper.  Add chicken; stir to coat. (Chicken can sit in marinade up to 8 hours in the fridge.  Let come to room temperature before cooking.)

To grill:  Heat a grill to medium-high.  Grill chicken over direct heat until cooked through and juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side for thighs; 4 minutes per side for breasts, turning to avoid burning.

To cook in skillet:  Heat a large skillet over medium-high.  Cook chicken until juices run clear (same timing as for grilling).

Serve with lime wedges.  Serves 4.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2021


I made this!  And it came out good!  Drawback is it makes me eat more rice.

I followed a Foodland recipe and used scallop strips from Wholesale Unlimited instead of cuttlefish.  

My bag of scallops strips was only 3 ounces (I needed 5 ounces), but it was too hard for me to calculate how much to lessen all the other ingredients to fit the recipe so I didn't. 



5 ounces
package shredded cuttlefish
2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons
sesame oil
2 teaspoons
toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon
fish sauce
2 tablespoons
1⁄2 tablespoon
2 teaspoons
asian chili pepper powder


  1. Take cuttlefish out of the package and cut into 3 inch pieces then place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and combine with cuttlefish.
  3. Let mixture sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors combine and serve.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Enjoy the Strawberry

I shared this story before.  It was back in 2008.  It's relevant to today's blog post so I'll share it again.

Buddha told a parable in a sutra:

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled. The tiger chased after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

These strawberries were $18.99 for 10 pieces at Don Q.  It might seem surprising coming from someone who is usually very thrifty, but I bought them.  I decided that for once I would Enjoy the Strawberry.


And they were the best strawberries I've ever eaten.


Monday, January 11, 2021

YouTube Tip

Here's a YouTube tip for you thanks to follower Li.  It's an auto-translate feature.   Quite a few foreign YouTube videos do provide English captions, available when you click on the CC icon in the lower right menu bar, but a lot do not. That's when auto-translate comes in handy.

To turn it on you first need to click on the gear icon.  Then click on "Subtitles".

Screen Shot 2021-01-09 at 2.50.58 PM

Select "Auto-translate".  I happened to be viewing a Japanese video for this sample so the default was "Japanese".

Screen Shot 2021-01-09 at 2.53.36 PM

Then click on "English".  And that's it.

The translation might be very rough depending on how fast and clearly the person is speaking, but it can provide you with an idea of what's going on.  I love this feature.  Thank you Li!!

Screen Shot 2021-01-09 at 2.53.51 PM

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Saturday, January 9, 2021

She Go!

The "restickable" glue stick works!  It took me awhile to figure out that you only need to use a little bit.  A light application is best.  Otherwise it'll get too sticky.  And make everything it touches all sticky.  And you'll get annoyed.  Trust me.

Here's my test sheet.  After I applied the glue, I stuck the note onto my lamp, took it off, put it on, took it off.  It worked good.


The texture and consistency of the glue is a bit different from what we're used to.  It's a dryish kind of wet . . . almost rubbery.  It works pretty much immediately . . . no need to wait for it to dry.


And because I pretty much have no life, I was able to make a bunch of pads from scrap paper.


I used a stamp positioning thingy to help keep everything all neat.


Friday, January 8, 2021

Restickable Glue

I never knew that there was such a thing as this.  You can turn any piece of paper into a post-it note.  

Screen Shot 2021-01-02 at 9.28.18 AM

For example, I could turn these cute Hello Kitty note pads into sticky notes.  Cool, hah!  The glue stick is $4.81 on Amazon.  I got it in the mail yesterday.  We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

On Da Desk

I did this on ProArt brand watercolor paper that I had found at the swap meet a few years back when I first started getting into painting.  

Watercolor paper is treated with a process called sizing, and as it ages it tends to lose this sizing.

 "Sizing aids the paper in absorbing moisture evenly, and allows the pigment to sit up on the surface where it refracts color more brightly, instead of soaking in and giving a “dull” appearance." 

The paint did turn a bit duller after it dried fully, but the pigment didn't soak through, and I liked its rough texture. Maybe it'll still be usable for a little while longer.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Dd's Pizza Lasagna





6 lasagna noodles, cooked, drained**

½ # Italian sausage, cooked, drained

1 small yellow onion, sliced

1 small bell pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1 c  marinara sauce

½ c pizza sauce

3 oz pepperoni, sliced

½ ( 2.25 oz.) can sliced olives, drained

1 ½ c mozzarella cheese

1 ½ c ricotta cheese


**dependent on size of noodles and size of baking dish.

In a skillet over medium heat brown sausage. Remove; set aside. Into skillet cook onion, bell peppers, garlic and mushrooms until wilted, about 10 minutes. Add to sausage; set aside. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In an 8-inch baking dish, spread thin layer of sauces on bottom of pan. Top with single layers of noodles, ricotta, sausage & veggies, pepperoni, olives and mozzarella. Repeat 2 more layers. 

Bake 45-55 minutes, until bubbling and slightly browned around edges. Serves 3-4.

Didi's #1 recommendation for pizza and marinara sauce is Rao's.  Her #2 recommendation is Prego Traditional Marinara Sauce. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Fried Dried Aku

 Try pan-frying your dried aku.  Ho, she go!!  Sweetie's invention.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Brazi Bites

We had this with pasta for yesterday's lunch.  They're called Brazi Bites.  Landon first heard about them on Shark Tank when the creators were trying to get the sharks to invest in their company.

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Wendell found it at Costco.  They're crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and best eaten fresh out of the oven.
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Sunday, January 3, 2021

Dd's Hamburger Stew


hamburger stew



1 TB olive oil

1 small onion, 1-inch pieces

2 stalks celery, 1-inch pieces

1 small carrot, 1-inch pieces

1 medium Yukon gold potato, 1-inch pieces

¼ c. frozen green beans, thawed*

¾ # ground beef

3 cloves garlic 

2 tsp tomato paste

1 TB soy sauce

2 TB flour 

2 c beef stock

salt, freshly ground black pepper


In a stockpot over medium heat sauté onion, celery and carrot in oil until slightly browned.

Add hamburger, garlic and bay leaf stirring until cooked through. Stir in tomato paste, flour and soy sauce. Add potatoes, green beans and stock stirring until thickened. 

Reduce heat; simmer 10-12 minutes until potatoes are cooked through. Remove bay leaves. 

Season as desired. Serve over rice or egg noodles. * Can substitute frozen peas. Serves 4.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Shaun Tan's The Arrival

Shaun Tan is an Australian illustrator/author who has received numerous awards including an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the biggest prize in children's literature.  I own almost all of his books.

Most recently I've been studying the illustrations in The Arrival, a wordless, pictographic portrayal of immigration. Shaun's pencil drawings in this book, done only in varying values of sepia, are magical in their ability to convey the experiences and emotions of being in an unfamiliar, foreign land, and reminds me of maybe how my grandparents might've felt upon arriving here in Hawaii.


There are several videos on YouTube about his books.  Here is one review on The Arrival.

Friday, January 1, 2021

S & B Gravy Mix

HAPPY NEW YEAR, PEOPLES!!  Hope this year will be better than the last.  All we can do is just carry on, yah.  And so . . . 

This is Didi's favorite Japanese gravy mix.

hayashi beef2

This is what she can do with it.  😲
hayashi beef