Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to Make Steamed Bread with Apple and Sweet Potato

        My father planted a small apple tree in his field in Japan several years ago, and the tree finally started producing so many small apples. When I visited my parents in Japan a year ago, he showed me his apples with a big smile. He brought so many apples their home. I thought we couldn't eat them up so many apples in a short period of time. That's why I made homemade apple jam with my father's apples. Then, his neighbor gave us some chestnuts one day. I made steamed bread with homemade apple jam, chestnuts and dried raisin for my family while I was staying my parents' home, and it turned out so delicious. A week ago, I bought a lot of apples because they were on sale for $0.99 for 5 lb at my local grocery store here in the U.S. These apples reminded me of steamed breads I made in my parents' home in Japan, so I made apple jam with them and decided to make steamed bread again. I didn't have chestnuts, so I used apple jam and sweet potatoes this time. It was so delicious. Actually, my husband really liked it more than I did. I'm going to share how to make steamed bread with you.
How to Make Steamed Bread with Apple and Sweet Potato



      Ingredients

2 eggs
20 oz (60g) of sugar
nip of salt
30 oz (90g) of milk
15 oz (45g) of vegetable oil
50 oz (150g) of flour
1.5 oz (4.5g) of baking soda
apple jam
1/2 sweet potato (cut in 1/2 inch)



1. Whisk egg and sugar. Add salt, milk and vegetable oil. Mix them with a whisk.

2. Add flour and baking soda. Then mix them with a spatula.

3. Pour mixture into custard cups. Add apple jam and sweet potatoes.

4. Fill the a large pot with water to about 1/2 inch. Bring the water to a boil. Then, place the cups into the pot.

5. Cover the lid and simmer the pot over medium heat for 20 minutes.

6. Make sure if they were fully cooked, and take them off from the pot.

7. Enjoy!

How to Make Steamed Bread with Apple and Sweet Potato



     This is my entries related to my favorite recipe.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/recipes

      This is my entries related to cooking.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/cooking



Monday, March 30, 2015

Comparing Curly and Lacinato Kale Smoothie

        My husband and I often have green smoothie as breakfast because it's not only good for our health but is also so delicious. :) We consume at least one bunch of fresh kale every week. This weekend, we went to Sprouts and purchased two kinds of kale. A bunch of organic kale was on sale for $0.88.

        I've already known that there are some types of kale but was always wondering how these tastes different. I usually bought curly kale, which is the most common type of kale sold at my local grocery stores, but decided to give lacinato kale a try for my first time. I bought these curly and lacinato kale to compare these tastes.
Curly Kale and Lacinato Kale
          I made two types of green smoothie. Each green smoothie contained three leaves of one kind of kale, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 inch of ginger, 1/2 orange, 1/2 apple and 1/2 banana. We noticed that these tasted pretty different. The curly kale smoothie was less bitter and mild.
Curly Kale
        In contrast, the lacinato kale smoothie was bitter and sweet. We were surprised at how sweet lacinato kale was. Actually, we loved lacinato one more.
Lacinato Kale
       These two types of green smoothie looked same but tasted so different!
Curly Kale and Lacinato Kale

     This is my entries related to vegetables.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Vegetables

     This is my entries related to my favorite recipe.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/recipes

      This is my entries related to cooking.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/cooking



Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sony Action Cam Review and Videos

         Before my husband and I were traveling Hawaii, we bought Sony Action Cambecause we wanted to record wild dolphins underwater. While waterproof cameras are usually pretty expensive such as GoPro, Sony Action Cam is much cheaper and does a pretty good job. We were really satisfied with its performance.

       We noticed that Sony Action Cam isn't only useful underwater, but it also works well everywhere with its wide-angle lens. While we were driving to La Jolla, we recorded videos with Sony Action Cam. Last night, I uploaded my YouTube video which I recorded with Sony Action Cam HDR-AS30V. (*Last 10 seconds of this video were recorded with Canon SX50 HS.) 


        This is my YouTube video I recorded underwater with Sony Action Cam.





        Because I upload my blog everyday, cameras are very important for my everyday life. This Sony Action Cam has become another essential item for me. :)

        My entries related to traveling Hawaii can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Hawaii%20%28the%20Big%20Island%29

Friday, March 27, 2015

Healthy Diet - Chia Seeds, Buy in Bulk at Costco

       One of my new year's resolutions of 2015 is trying to eat healthy. As I decided to do so, I have been eating a lot of vegetables and some fruit on a daily basis since then. In addition, I drink plenty of water every day. As soon as I wake up morning, I make my chia drink, which contains 1 teaspoon of chia, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 24 oz of water. According to Wikipedia, chia seeds are a rich source of the B vitamins thiamine and niacin, and are a rich source of the dietary minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. Chia seeds are also a good source (10-19% DV) of the B vitamins riboflavin and folate. Adding chia seeds to your diet is an easy way to get a good amount of nutrition. However, you should also know that chia is high in calories. One tablespoon, 12g, of chia contains approximately 60 calories. That's why I don't eat too much chia every day. Just 1 teaspoon (maximum 1 tablespoon for me) of chia per day makes my diet healthier. :)

      That being said, I repeatedly purchased a pack of chia seeds at Trader Joe's or Mexican supermarkets. I finally decided to purchase this 32 oz bag of chia seeds for $9.99 at Costco! According to my calculation, it will last for four months for two people. As you might know, organic chia seeds are usually pretty expensive, so I think it might good idea to buy in bulk. Considering that 12 oz bag of Nutiva chia seeds costs $17.99 at Walmart, the 32 oz bag for $9.99 at Costco was a bargain. :)

Nutiva Organic Chia Seed 32 oz for $9.99 at Costco


       This is my previous entry about Mexican chia drink recipe.


     My entries related Costco can be seen here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Fukuoka

       I have written about Starbucks Japan City tumblers and mugs since my husband came back from his business trip in Japan 5 months ago. I have mentioned 20 kinds of Starbucks Japan City tumblers and mugs on my blog so far, and this mug is the last one I would like to share with you. :)
       This is Starbucks Japan Fukuoka mug. Fukuoka prefecture is located on Kyusyu Island,  most southwesterly of four main Islands of Japan. Indeed, I grew up in Fukuoka until age 18, so I think I know pretty much about the best local foods in Fukuoka such as mentaiko, takana, tonkotsu ramen and so on. Anyway, I'm going to share this Fukuoka mug with you.

Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Fukuoka
       The official flower of Fukuoka prefecture is ume blossom, Japanese apricot flower. The official bird of Fukuoka is uguisu, Japanese bush warbler. You can see the pictures of ume and uguisu under the word of Fukuoka on this mug. If you travel Fukuoka, you should try umegae mochi, which is mochi with sweet bean paste and is famous sweets in Dazaifu city.There is Dazaifu Tenmangu, one of the huge shinto shrines in Japan and is also known for its 6,000 ume. When I visited Dazaifu Tenmangu, I always had umegae mochi, which is also my husband's all-time favorite sweets in Japan.

Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Fukuoka

      These pictures of navy blue and white weaves are Hakata ori, traditional silk fabric in Hakata. According to Starbucks Japan Official website, the specific design of this Hakata ori is called Seigaiha. Genkai nada, Genkai sea, is expressed by this design.


Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Fukuoka



Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Fukuoka



Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Fukuoka



Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Fukuoka
       The top of pictures of the mug are street stands in Hakata. There are so many food stalls around Nakasu river. People come to eat and drink there during night. You can find so many delicious foods there such as Hakata tonkotsu ramen, yakitori, oden and so on.
Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Fukuoka




Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Fukuoka



Starbucks Japan - City Mugs
These are my previous entries.

Starbucks Hokkaido Mug

Starbucks Kyoto Mug

Starbucks Sendai Mug

Starbucks Hiroshima Mug

Starbucks Kobe Mug

Starbucks Yokohama Mug

Starbucks Okinawa Mug

Starbucks Fukuoka Mug

Starbucks Kanazawa Mug

Starbucks Nagoya Mug






       My entries related to Starbucks Japan mugs can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks%20Japan%20mugs

      My entries related to Starbucks Japan tumblers can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks%20Japan%20tumblers

      My entries related to Starbucks Japan can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks%20Japan

      My entries related to my Starbucks US collections can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks%20mugs

      My entries related to Starbucks can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks

     My entries related to Japan can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Japan

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How to Cook Italian Mushroom Risotto

      When my husband and I traveled Italy many years ago, we visited Florence, Rome, Milan and Venice. During our travel in Italy, we went to some trattoria, which is an informal Italian restaurant, and cafe. Actually, all foods we had there were so delicious! We had risotto, prosciutto, Chianina beef steaks, some pasta, pizza, panini, tiramisu and so on. We were amazed at how delicious real Italian cooking were even though we sometimes went to fancy Italian restaurants in Japan. I heard that Italian cookery is simplicity, and it needs fresh ingredients and great seasoning. It seemed like it's pretty easy and everyone can cook Italian cuisine. That's why after coming back from Italy, I thought I should try cooking Italian foods some day. Indeed, I first tried cooking Italian mushroom risotto a few month ago, and it turned out so delicious! :) I read some Italian cooking books and watched some YouTube videos to learn how to cook mushroom risotto. I tried to cook it with simple ingredients in my way though. :) Last night, I cooked it for dinner again and decided to share how to cook Italian mushroom risotto with you  today.
How to Cook Italian Mushroom Risotto
     Ingredients (Serves 4)

1/2 cup of dried mushrooms
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
2 bunches of green onions (finely chopped)
1 1/2 cups of rice
2/3 cup of white wine
6 oz of mushrooms
5 cups of chicken stock
nip of salt and black pepper
1/2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese


1. Pour boiling water over the dried mushrooms and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve soaking liquid.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Then, saute the onion and garlic gently until soft but not browned.

3. Add most of green onions but reserve a few green pieces.

4. Add the rice and stir until coated in oil. Add the wine and bring to a simmer.

5. Add all dried and fresh mushrooms.

6. Start adding the hot stock a little at a time and stir until it has been absorbed before adding more. Continue in this way until the rice is cooked but still al dente. This usually takes about 20 minutes.

7. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add cheese and stir them.

8. Cover the lid and leave to stand for 2 minutes.

9. Serve garnished with the reserved green onions.

10. Enjoy!

How to Cook Italian Mushroom Risotto
       I also would like to try cooking some Italian foods in the near future. :)


     This is my entries related to my favorite recipe.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/recipes

      This is my entries related to cooking.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/cooking

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Aguas Frescas

       Last Saturday, my husband and I went to EL Super, Mexican supermarket. Because we really love Aguas frescas, a fresh Mexican drink, we are always interested in their deli section. We found red drink, Agua de Flor de Jamaica, Hibiscus tea, and tried its sample for our first time. Oh, it was so sweet and sour! Even though we love Aguas frescas, we didn't think we could drink up that strong taste drink. We ended up getting pina y espinaca this time. Pina y espinaca is made of spinach and pineapple. This green Mexican drink was so sweet with pineapple taste. :)
Pina Y Espinaca
 
        My entries related to Mexican Supermarket can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Mexican%20Supermarket

Kate Spade and Tory Burch iPhone 5 Cases at T.J. Maxx

      Yesterday, I found that T.J. Maxx was selling some Kate Spade and Tory Burch iPhone 5 cases. I just bought my new iPhone case last month, so I didn't buy any yesterday, but it was good to know. :)
Kate Spade iPhone cases at T.J. Maxx

Tory Burch iPhone cases at T.J. Maxx
     These were much cheaper than ones at Premium Outlets! (A year ago, I wrote about iPhone Cases at Premium Outlets Mall.) 


Sunday, March 22, 2015

How to Make Espresso Con Panna with Bialetti Moka Express

How to Make Espresso Con Panna with Bialetti Moka Express

       Today, I made Espresso Con Panna, Espresso with cream, again. It's very easy to make and so delicious. I'm going to share how to make it with you.
How to Make Espresso Con Panna with Bialetti Moka Express

     Ingredients

espresso
whipped cream
cocoa powder


1. Brew espresso with Bialetti Moka Express. Pour espresso into the cup.
How to Make Espresso Con Panna with Bialetti Moka Express


2. Put whipped cream on it.

3. Garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
How to Make Espresso Con Panna with Bialetti Moka Express

4. Enjoy!
How to Make Espresso Con Panna with Bialetti Moka Express

       I uploaded my YouTube video which is How to Make Espresso Con Panna with Bialetti Moka Express.


        This is my YouTube channel.
Ringo's Coffee Channel

       My entries related to coffee can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/coffee


      This is my entries related to my favorite recipes.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/recipes


       These are my entries you might like.

■Japanese Drip Coffee Bags - UCC & KEY COFFEE

■How to Make Caramel Macchiato

■How to Make a Frappuccino Less Watery
 
How To Make Espresso Ice Cube Latte

How to Make Thai Iced Coffee - Oliang, Cafe Yen

Trader Joe's Pour-Over Coffee Brewer Review

Two Ways to Make Coffee Granita

How to Make Café de Olla - Mexican Coffee

How to Brew Coffee with Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker 

How to Make Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha Latte

How to Make Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Latte 

How To Make Salted Caramel Mocha Latte

How to Make Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino 

How to Make Affogato, Italian Espresso-based Dessert

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Latte

How to Turn Mason Jars into A Coffee Grinder and Compact Blender

How to Make Nutella Frappuccino

How to Make Iced Caramel Macchiato

Saturday, March 21, 2015

T.J. Maxx Haul - Susquehanna Glasses

      Yesterday, I went to T.J. Maxx to get new clear glasses. My kitchen cabinet was full of mugs, but I really wanted to get really clear glasses to film how to make coffee in my future videos. When I found these glasses at T.J. Maxx, I couldn't resist buying them. They are nice and heavy. The designs of anchor and yacht are so cool, so I thought that they would look good with summer drink. :) These Susquehanna Glasses, made in U.S.A., were $2.99 each.
Susquehanna Glasses
 
Susquehanna Glass
Susquehanna Glass

       I made Espress Con Panna with these glasses this morning. :)

Espresso Con Panna




      This is my YouTube channel.
RINGO's Coffee Channel


        My entries related shopping can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/shopping



Friday, March 20, 2015

Josh Woodward - Mona Lisa

        Last month, I discovered my new favorite singer, Josh Woodward, who is an acoustic rock musician from Ohio. He has an extraordinary talent for music and has an attractive voice. My husband also found a liking for his songs and has been listening to so many his songs while driving. What I was surprised about Josh Woodward was that he has been giving away all his songs for free, so you can download any his songs and share them with your friends. Even you can use them free of charge for your projects. You just need to follow the music sharing policy. I have used some of his songs in my YouTube videos. :)


Music - "Mona Lisa" by Josh Woodward. Free download: http://joshwoodward.com/song/MonaLisa


Lyrics

Mona, you have done it now, you've gone and shown exactly how
You never knew the process just to keep your brainwaves straight

Our life was not extravagant, but hey we always paid the rent
And went to church on Sunday when we didn't sleep to late

But now you need a little color and your paint is fading under
All the lights that shine around you every day

Put your pennies in a tray
Save them for a rainy day
And it's off you go and on your way
Goodbye to Mona Lisa

Every time I try to speak, your face grows tired your hands get weak
And then you look at me like I'm a thousand miles away

Your eyes are always fixed on me, but somehow you just never see
The man I'm trying hard to be, the freak that I portray

But now you've got four walls surrounding and the frame is really sounding
Like a prison where the guards have gone astray

Chorus

Though I try to disavow, if DaVinci could just see you now
He wouldn't know the woman who is standing by my door

Take your pennies from the tray cuz here it is, your rainy day
And now it's just this painting who is staring back at me

And it's not as if you've asked it, but I've finally unmasked it
And there's nothing underneath your surface but an empty canvas




      This is Josh Woodward's YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/joshwoodward


http://www.joshwoodward.com/#/



    This is my entries related to my favorite songs.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/songs




Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Beatles - Blackbird

        I have been listening to Blackbird, which is a the Beatles song and was recorded in 1968. I found this song while watching ER, an American medical serial drama. Chloe Lewis, who is one of the characters of ER and is the older sister of ER physician Susan Lewis, sings this song while she is in labor. After she leaves behind her baby and disappears, her sister, Susan, takes care of her baby and occasionally sings this song. That's why this song caught my ears. I searched the name of this song and found that this song was written by Paul McCartney. While I really like some songs sung by the Beatles, I didn't know this song before. Now, this song is one of my favorite songs.  :)








Lyrics

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise




    This is my entries related to my favorite songs.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/songs


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Hiroshima

        It's been five months since my husband bought Starbucks Japan city mugs and tumblers during his business trip in Japan. Today, I'm going to share this Hiroshima mug with you. That being said, I have already written about Hiroshima tumbler before, and the design of this mug is almost same with tumbler. If you would like to know each detail of pictures on this mug, you can also check my previous entry, Starbucks Japan - City Tumbler - Hiroshima.


・Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima

Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Hiroshima
・ Hiroshima Toyo Carp
・ Shimanami Kaido, Nishiseto Expressway
Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Hiroshima

Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Hiroshima

・ Momiji, maple leaf (Momiji manjyu is famous local sweets in Hiroshima.)
Starbucks Japan - City Mug - Hiroshima



       This is Starbucks Japan Hiroshima tumbler.
Starbucks Japan - City Tumbler - Hiroshima
Starbucks Japan - City Tumbler - Hiroshima

Starbucks Japan - City Mugs
      These are my previous entries.

Starbucks Hokkaido Mug

Starbucks Kyoto Mug

Starbucks Sendai Mug

Starbucks Hiroshima Mug

Starbucks Kobe Mug

Starbucks Yokohama Mug

Starbucks Okinawa Mug

Starbucks Fukuoka Mug

Starbucks Kanazawa Mug

Starbucks Nagoya Mug






       My entries related to Starbucks Japan mugs can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks%20Japan%20mugs

      My entries related to Starbucks Japan tumblers can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks%20Japan%20tumblers

        My entries related to Starbucks Japan can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks%20Japan

      My entries related to my Starbucks US collections can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks%20mugs

      My entries related to Starbucks can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks

     My entries related to Japan can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Japan

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bird Watching at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary

       This time of year is the only season you can watch a lot of freshly wild green plants in Southern California. I am sure that the ground is going to be very dry with lack of rain soon. My husband and I thought that we should go outside to enjoy hiking and watching beautiful green scenery. That's why we decided to go to San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary for bird watching last Sunday. It's been a year since we went there last time.
San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 
       The pond which was located in the front of the parking lot was full of water, and we were able to see many wild birds there such as American avocets, cinnamon teals and northern shovelers.

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 


San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 
      We decided to walk the trail which we had never hiked before.
San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 
       There were beautiful yellow flowers between the path and the pond.
San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 
       As we walked the trail, we found there were more of ponds there. We didn't know about these before.
San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 
       Some people were taking picture of birds with huge cameras.
San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 
      I thought I should have brought a hat here because it was very hot that day. After finding four ponds, we went back the parking lot. Next time, I would like to hike more at this place.
American Coot at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary 



San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary
5 Riparian View
Irvine, CA 92616



       My entries related to wild animals can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/wild%20animals