Friday, July 30, 2021

Frozen Edamame

Thanks to friend Cleta I'm back to enjoying frozen edamame again.  I had stopped buying them years ago when halfway through eating a microwaved batch I came across a cockroach and many cockroach parts. 

I had bought the bag(s) from Marukai and it was a Japanese brand so I assumed it was a product of Japan.  Nope.  China.

I was never able to find any brand that didn't come from China.

Recently, Cleta recommended Whole Foods.  I went there and sure enough, in the freezer section "Product of USA".  WOW. 


The bag on the top was $3.49 and the shelled ones were $2.49 each.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Wendell's Sweet Sour Chicken

My pal Fay emailed me the link to this recipe.  She said to show it to Wendell.  I did and he took the bait.   

I'm so glad that he did because it was soooo ono.  I took one bite and any thoughts of my diet went out da door.  The recipe is from Just One Cookbook.



  • 2 chicken thighs (11 oz, 312 g)
  • 3 potatoes
  • 3 inch lotus root (renkon)
  • ½ carrot
  • 1 Japanese/Chinese eggplant
  • ½ onion
  • ½ green pepper
  • ½ cup potato starch/cornstarch
  • 3 cups neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc) (for deep frying)


  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sake
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated, include juice)
  • 1 clove garlic

Black Vinegar Sauce:

  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp black vinegar (If you use Chinese black vinegar, use ½ Tbsp as it has a stronger flavor)
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp sake
  • 2 tsp potato starch/cornstarch


Gather all the ingredients.

Make the marinade. Grate the ginger and garlic. Combine the ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sake in a large bowl.

Trim off and discard any excess fat from the chicken, then cut the meat into bite size pieces and add them to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 10 min.

Combine all the ingredients for Black Vinegar Sauce and mix well together.

Cut the potato in half and carrot into small pieces. 

Potatoes and carrots take too long to deep fry; therefore we boil them first for 10 minutes until they are tender. Drain and set aside.

Cut the lotus root to ⅛" (3 mm) slices and eggplant into ½” (1.3 cm) slices.

Cut onion and green peppers in wedges and cut half in length-wise.

In a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, add 3 cups of oil. Depending on the size of your pot, you will need more or less oil to have at least 2 inches (5 cm) of oil in the pot.  Preheat the oil to 340ºF (170ºC). Using a paper towel, pat dry the vegetables before you add them to the oil. Deep fry until they’re tender. Be careful not to over/under cook. When they’re done, drain the oil on a wire rack or paper towel.

Next, coat the chicken in potato starch and deep fry at 340ºF (170ºC) for 5 minutes or until golden brown. If the chicken is being browned too quickly, adjust the heat and make sure the chicken is cooked through. Drain the oil well on a wire rack or paper towel.

When the chicken is done deep frying, heat the wok and toss the deep-fried vegetables and chicken together. When they are re-heated evenly, pour the Black Vinegar Sauce over the chicken and vegetables, toss and combine. Transfer to a plate and serve.



Wendell first went to Marukai and could only find black vinegar in the Health section.  He bought the vinegar in the red box on the left for $13.70.  He then went to the Asian Market on Beretania and found the Chinese vinegar for $3.50.  Wendell used the red-box one.


Monday, July 26, 2021

My Red Kipling Bag

I bought this Kipling Bag at the swap meet 2 years ago.  It was only $2, but the zipper was broken.  I took a chance that maybe I could repair it, and I actually was able to.  I blogged about the repair here


I love everything about the bag.  Its red color and matching red gorilla, its size and lightweightness, its many zippered compartments, its ability to open up larger if I chose to . . . just perfect for swap meet shopping and maybe one of my best scores.

Last month (or so) a strange thing happened regarding the bag.  A guy, a fellow shopper, asked me where I got the bag from and how much I had paid for it.  I told him.  He offered me $5.  I refused.

He kept persisting.  I kept refusing.  His offer eventually reached $25.  I showed him my safety-pin zipper repair hoping to dissuade him. 

He said that he really wanted to give the bag to his daughter and it didn't matter about the repair. 

And so . . . 

A father's gift to his daughter I couldn't deny.

I gave him the bag . . . for free.

His name was Richard, and he said that he would never forget this day.

I told him me too.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Past and Future Phones

I'm still in the process of cleaning out.  I think I'll always be "in the process of cleaning out".  There is just so much stuff . . . plus I take breaks . . . long breaks . . . and often.

I found one of my old phones.  I loved this phone.  It felt so comfortable in my hands. IMG_8371

You slide up the panel to dial.  I could totally use just one hand to work it.   I remember reluctantly giving it up when Wendell got us new phones.  Maybe that's why I never threw it out.  I put it back in my "keep" pile.  

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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Broccoli Salad

First time making this for me!  Except for the broccoli I used ingredients that we already had on hand. Came out good.


I threw the following together:

5 cups of broccoli (One big or two small head-ish)
8 slices of bacon, fried up to a crisp  (yummmm, the best ingredient)
1/4 cup shallots (the shallots that I had bought at the swap meet were kinda strong so I didn't put in a full 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup golden raisins (leftover from Wendell's Christmas fruitcake making)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (what I could get out of my bag of trail mix)

This is the dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (Came out kinda sweet.  Gonna cut down next time.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Ham Hock and Cabbage Soup

I made this!  And even though everything except the ham got overcooked, it tasted good!  😄

I think next time I'll boil the ham hock to death first and then add it to the other ingredients.

The recipe is from Emeril Lagasse's site. 

Diet Update:  Day 14 - After losing about 1 pound a day at first, I've been stuck at -5 pounds for awhile now.   😵‍💫



  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
  • 1 ham hock (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups peeled and cubed red potatoes (about 1 pound)


  • Heat the oil in a large deep pot over high heat. Add the bacon and fry until it is slightly crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the ham hock, onions, and carrots. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the onions are slightly wilted.

  • Add the cabbage, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, salt, and cayenne. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the cabbage is slightly wilted. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Add the potatoes. Cover and cook for 1 hour, or until the cabbage and potatoes are soft and tender.

  • Remove the ham hock from the soup. Pick off the meat and add to the pot. If desired, skim off any fat that has risen to the surface and remove the bay leaves.

  • Serve in large soup bowls.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Chicken & Brisket

Wendell picked up lunch (or was it dinner?) from Chicken & Brisket on Dillingham awhile back. 

Fried Chicken (Half Pack - $10).  This was very good.  It comes with a variety of dipping sauces.   

Both Wendell and Landon ordered this Spicy Brisket Chili Bowl ($10).  Wendell liked it.  Landon was more critical.  He didn't like the raw onions, thought it had too much rice and said that the taste was just meh.  😄

This was my Brisket Fried Noodle ($12).  It was very tasty, although a bit oily.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Overnight Oats

Have you ever heard of overnight oats?  I only recently discovered it.  You can find a lot of fancy recipes online, but I've been making a very simple version.

I mix together 3/4 cup of oats with 3/4 cup of milk, 1 tsp. chia seeds and 1 tsp. honey.  I leave it in the fridge overnight.

The following day I'll add fruits, trail mix and sprinkle with cinnamon and eat it for lunch.  I never cared for oatmeal before, but I like this version.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

My Fried Tofu

Ho, this came out good, and it's so simple to make.  

I microwaved the tofu on high for 2 minutes to get rid of the water.  I patted dry with paper towels and coated with cornstarch, then fried.

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I ate it with my sister Didi's Crunchy Garlic Chili Oil and skosh shoyu.  OMG, so ono!  To the left of the tofu is some prepared gobo from Palama Market.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Fried Red Onion

I got this at Ross.  I really like it.  I sprinkle it on my soups and salads.  The other day I saw Landon sprinkling it on his curry.  He said, "I love this."  

I rushed back to Ross to buy more.  No luck.  Not one bottle in sight. 


It was only $3.99.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

I'm on a Diet Again

I'm putting it out there.  And showing my weight even.   Basically, the problem is I'm getting too old to be fat and unhealthy.

Below is what's in my "diet" folder on my desktop . . . my weight in the morning and then to the right of it, what I ate that day . . . sort of . . . there's no lunch photo for July 6, my start date.  I think I had my favorite Vietnamese Tomato Soup and some gyoza.

Don't know if I'm gonna keep documenting like this, but it's kinda who I am, yah . . . a documenter.

My goal is -20 pounds by Thanksgiving.  And then the hard part . . . keeping it off.  I need to be fit and mobile for when Japan opens up again.  Right?  Wish me luck!!

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Thursday, July 8, 2021

Vintage Hanger

I've been Marie Kondo-ing lately, and I came across this hanger in one of our closets.  


The hanger came from a time when we were not even a State yet.  And look at the phone number . . . 4 digits long!

I found this online.  It was from the UK eBay site.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Eggplant Stir-Fry

My sister Sweetie made this for their dinner the other night and she said it was "OMG .... so ono!"  Maybe the shishito peppers from the swap meet were key.

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Sunday, July 4, 2021


I've been liking this new sponge that I got from Ross.  It gets sudsier than the sponges I normally use. 



It was $1.99 for three.

And while we're talking about washing dishes.  I totally love this scrubber thingy.

It can easily fit through narrow openings.  I wouldn't mind getting another backup one, but I don't remember where I got it from.  Anyone know?

Oh, and look at my new shelf.  I shoulda got it a long time ago.  Now I have more counter space.  It was $13.99 from Amazon. 

Friday, July 2, 2021

The Very Boring Video

 I forgot about this video.  You no need have to watch.  🥱

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Guess Who I Saw

I showed Wendell this bag of chocolate chip cookies and said, "Guess who I saw today!"  He perked up and said, "Mrs. Hane!"  

I was in my favorite craft section at Ross when I saw her.  I flagged her down and showed her my blog post about her.  She was tickled and said that I had made her day.  

Can you imagine that?  For once, I made HER day.  Then she gave me this bag of cookies and once again made MY day.  

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