Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wet Bar Renovation - Lighting, Installing Cabinets, Painting and Molding

      As I mentioned in my previous entry, my husband and I have been working on our wet bar renovation since April 15. We removed the mirrors which were installed with strong adhesive to the walls. It's been two weeks since then, but we haven't finished our wet bar renovation yet. Today, I'm going to share the progress of our wet bar renovation with you. 



■Install Recessed Lighting
     Originally, our wet bar had one old recessed lighting. We decided to remove the old one and install two new Utilitech Pro 4-inch LED Recessed Lighting Kits, Light Color 3111k Bright White #0632280. Last weekend, my husband installed new ones.

      Since we purchased our dated condominium last summer, he has installed 10 recessed LED downlights so far. He told me that installing recessed lighting is a piece of cake for him now. He installed them up for our wet bar less than one hour.

      Then, he patched the hole which the old lighting used to be located.





■Install Cabinets
     Then, we installed two new cabinets, Project Source Unfinished Door Wall Cabinet, to the wall. First, we attached a straight ledger level on the wall.

      We referred to this Lowe's video, How to Hang Cabinets, for our cabinet installation.







■Match the Texture on the Walls
      This week, he repaired the walls.

      For the ceiling, he used Homax Wall Texture Pro Grade Knockdown to match it to the existing knockdown texture on the ceiling. For the walls, he used Homax Wall Texture Orange Peel for orange peel texture.

     I think it looks good.






■Paint the Walls
        When my husband cut the two holes in the ceiling for recessed light installation, we kept one of them as sample of our wet bar wall, so it helps to find the right paint. When we went to Lowe's last weekend, we brought the sample of the wall and Lowe's staff created a matching paint color for us. :)



     This week, I finally painted the walls.



■Install Under Cabinet Lighting
       My husband also installed under cabinet lighting.  He purchased two Utilitech Pro 18-inch under cabinet LED light bars, Light Color 3129k Bright White.

     He used Gardner Bender 3/8" Cable Clamps to secure the codes to the under cabinet.





■Install Cabinet Molding
      Yesterday, we went to Home Depot to purchase cabinet molding.
     There were so many kinds of molding we could choose from.



      We purchased crown molding, light rail molding and so on. We also purchased a filler to fill the gap between the wall and the cabinet.


     He installed the cabinet filler at left side of the cabinet. There is an electrical code for under cabinet lighting behind the cabinet filler.

     By adding light rail molding, it perfectly hides under cabinet lighting. :) 
Light Rail Molding
      The crown molding looks good. :) He also filled the tiny gap with DAP Crack Shot

     This is our wet bar now. We will sand the cabinet and paint white starting tomorrow. Next weekend, we are going to install subway tiles for the backsplash. :)




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


    These are my entries you might like.

Before and After Master Bathroom - New Shower Handles, Tub Spout And Shower Heads

Shower Tile and Bathtub Paints 

Before and After Door Hardware - From Door Knob to Door Lever

Before & After Painting All Cabinets

How to Install New Outlet Cover Plate - Hubbell Taymac Revive Decorator Wall Plate Review

How to Install A Spring Door Stop

Before and After Kitchen Flooring - Easy and Affordable Peel-And-Stick Vinyl Flooring! 

Built-in Trash Cans - Before and After


Saturday, April 29, 2017

How to Cook Wafu Okara Hamburg Steaks

     Last weekend, my husband found that ground beef was on sale for $2.99 per pound at our local Sprouts, and he told me that he wanted to cook okara hamburg steaks for dinner because we also had some fresh okara in our refrigerator. :) As I mentioned in my previous entry, My Top 15 Must Eat Foods in Japan, a Japanese hamburg steak (ハンバーグ) is one of my favorite Japanese foods. :) This time, we cooked wafu hamburg steaks which had garlic soy sauce flavor. It was just as delicious as we expected!  By the way, wafu (和風) means Japanese style in Japanese. Wa (和) means Japanese or Japan, and fu (風) means style. That's why the sauce of wafu hamburg steaks is made of Japanese ingredients such as soy sauce. :)

       Do you know okara? As I mentioned in my previous entry, okara is tofu byproducts. Tofu lees, soy pulp, is called okara in Japanese. Okara is high nutrient food and is high in protein and fiber. Moreover, okara is very inexpensive. It's usually a few dollars for this 2 lb bag. :)  However, it's pretty hard to find okara at supermarkets because fresh okara spoils pretty quickly, so it only sells for just a short while (Just several days). If you want to get okara, you can find okara at tofu section in Japanese supermarket. If you cannot use up all your okara in a few days or so, just store them in your freezer. It will last 2 to 3 months. :)
Fresh Okara
      Actually, you don't have to use okara to make Japanese hamburg steaks. However, by using okara, it's healthier than ordinarily hamburg steaks.  If you use only okara as a substitute for beef, it doesn't taste like meat, so I use okara only one third part of beef. Anyway, I'm going to share how to make wafu okara hamburg steaks with you.
Fresh Okara

◇Ingredients for Okara Hamburg Steaks (8 Servings)◇
1 Cup of Panko
2 Tablespoon of Milk
300g (10 oz) of Ground Beef (or Ground Beef and Pork)
100 g (3 oz) of Okara
2 Onion (Minced)
2 Egg (Beaten)
Nip of Salt and Pepper





■Ingredients for Wafu Sauce■
1/2 lb of Japanese Radish (Grated)
4 Cloves of Garlic (Grated or Minced)
1 Inch of Ginger (Grated)
4 Tablespoons of mirin
4 Tablespoons of sake
5 Tablespoons of soy sauce



   




1. Mix panko and milk.



2. Put the mixture of panko and milk, ground beef, okara, onion, egg, salt and pepper into a bowl of a stand mixer. Mix them for 5 minutes.



3. Make 8 oval hamburg patties. (By the way, my husband and I used a large amount of the ingredients this time, so we wrapped leftovers with plastic wrap and stored them in a freezer to enjoy them later.)



4. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute them until they're browned on the both sides.


5. Take the hamburg steaks out from a pan (Be sure to leave the meat juice in the pan).



6. For Making Wafu Sauce : Put radish, garlic and ginger into the pan with meat juice. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add mirin, sake and soy sauce and simmer for another 3 minutes.
Grated Radish




7. Serve the hamburg steaks on plates and top with wafu sauce. Enjoy!


    My entries related to cooking can be seen here.

    My entries related to my favorite recipes can be seen here.

    My entries related to foods my husband cooked can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japanese instant ramen can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japanese noodles can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.
 

    My entries related to Best Japanese Beauty Products can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japan can be seen here.




       These are also my entries you might like.
■How To Make Healthy Okara Chocolate Cake, Protein Chocolate Cake

■How to Bake Crunchy Okara Cookies - Healthy Protein Cookies

■How to Make Curry Flavored Unohana - Okara Recipe

■How to Make Italian Hamburg Steak with Okara, Japanese Style Salisbury Steak

■What I Bought at Japanese Supermarkets

■Top 10 Products You Should Buy at Japanese Supermarkets (for Beginners!)

■Don Quijote (Donki) Haul - What He Got in Japan

■8 Interesting Japanese Kitchen Gadgets!

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Snacks

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Sweets

■Top 10 Most Popular Japanese Foods 

■My Top 15 Must Eat Foods in Japan - My Favorite Japanese Foods

■How to Make Japanese Deep Fried Chicken, Kara-Age

■How to Cook Japanese Curry

■How to Cook Miso Soup

■How to Cook Japanese White Cream Stew

■How to Cook Soboro Don, Japanese Scrambled Meat And Egg Bowl

■How to Cook Easy Teriyaki Chicken




Friday, April 28, 2017

Yakiniku Plate - What My Husband Cooked

        Last night, my husband told me that he wanted to eat yakiniku (焼肉), which is one of his favorite Japanese foods, because he was going to have a minor surgery on the following day, so he would not be allowed to eat anything from next morning. That's why he wanted to eat his favorite foods for the final dinner before surgery. He purchased some thinly sliced beef at Japanese supermarket on his way home and cooked yakiniku plate last night. Yaki (焼き) means grill, fry or cook in Japanese, and niku (肉) means meat, so yakiniku is Japanese style grilled (or fried) meat.    
Yakiniku, Nukazuke and Grape Tomatoes
       As soon as meat and vegetables are grilled, those are dipped in yakiniku sauce, which is called yakiniku no tare (焼肉のたれ) in Japanese, right before being eaten. In our refrigerator, we always have at least one bottle of yakiniku sauce, and now we have this one,  KNK yakiniku sauce. This yakiniku sauce is so delicious! It has garlic and soy sauce taste. :)
KNK Yakiniku Sauce
         By the way, when I was a child in Japan, my mother cooked yakiniku at least once a week (It was too often, but my family really loved yakiniku.). It's because everyone loves yakiniku, and it's really easy to cook. All she did was just cut vegetables such as onions, cabbages, green peppers, and eggplants. Then, she served vegetables and meat. I think most families in Japan have an electronic yakiniku hot plate. My family could grill meat and vegetables with the hot plate on the table, and we enjoyed having yakiniku for dinner in Japan.



       My husband also cooked this curry flavored sauteed potatoes.
Curry Flavored Sauteed Potatoes

       Then, he served this fruit, cherimoya. It was our first time to have cherimoya. He told me that the cherimoya is often considered one of the best-tasting fruits in the world.
cherimoya

     It was white inside and had some seeds.
cherimoya

    Indeed, it was so delicious! It's rich and creamy and had sweet and fruity flavor. We really enjoyed our first cherimoya.
cherimoya

     I think he really enjoyed the final dinner before having surgery. :)  He still hasn't had anything since this morning. What are we going to eat tomorrow?



    My entries related to cooking can be seen here.

    My entries related to my favorite recipes can be seen here.

    My entries related to foods my husband cooked can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japanese instant ramen can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japanese noodles can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.

    My entries related to Best Japanese Beauty Products can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japan can be seen here.




       These are also my entries you might like.

■What I Bought at Japanese Supermarkets

■Top 10 Products You Should Buy at Japanese Supermarkets (for Beginners!)

■Don Quijote (Donki) Haul - What He Got in Japan

■8 Interesting Japanese Kitchen Gadgets!

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Snacks

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Sweets

■Top 10 Most Popular Japanese Foods 

■My Top 15 Must Eat Foods in Japan - My Favorite Japanese Foods

■How to Make Japanese Deep Fried Chicken, Kara-Age

■How to Cook Japanese Curry

■How to Cook Miso Soup

■How to Cook Japanese White Cream Stew

■How to Cook Soboro Don, Japanese Scrambled Meat And Egg Bowl

■How to Cook Easy Teriyaki Chicken


Thursday, April 27, 2017

3 Best Japanese Beauty Gadgets to Lather Up Your Facial Wash

      Most Japanese women believe that washing your face with plenty of lather is the most important tip for healthy skin. As I mentioned in my previous entry, Two Important Things You Should Know to Wash Your Face - Japanese Beauty Secrets!, if you directly put your facial cleanser onto your skin and rubbing, it might irritate your skin. Japanese cosmetic companies and beauty magazines always recommend to wash your face without rubbing. Washing your face with plenty of lather is the most gentle way to clean your face.

     Today, I'm going to share with you three Japanese beauty gadgets to lather up your facial wash. :)  





1. Japanese Foaming Net
100yen to 500yen
Can be purchased at Daiso, Muji, drugstores, supermarkets and etc in Japan.
Japanese Foaming Net
     I use a Japanese foaming net to lather up my facial cleanser every day. Even when I go to travel, I always take my own foaming net with me. It's one of my must-have beauty items. :) It's quick and easy to get plenty of lather. You can check out my previous entry, Top 5 Life-Changing Japanese Beauty Products.







2. Awa Hour (あわわ)
1080 yen
Can be purchased at Tokyu Hands and Loft in Japan
Awa Hour Micro Bubble Former
        A few years ago, Awa Hour, a new facial wash gadget, was released from Fuji, a Japanese company which has been creating miscellaneous goods including beauty gadgets since 1976. Awa Hour was first released in 2014. Since then, it has been featured as one of the most useful beauty gadgets on some Japanese TV shows, and it has been on many beauty magazines as well. Awa Hour has a great number of positive reviews on Amazon Japan and @cosme, a huge Japanese cosmetic review site. As I mention before, most Japanese women have used Japanese foaming nets, but many people review that this was far beyond their expectation! You can create extremely thick foam like whipped heavy cream with Awa Hour in 20 seconds! While a foaming net won't last forever (Because it's a net, it will be worn out after a year of use.), Awa Hour can last so much longer. Many people reviews that it's very fun to make foam with it, and some people use it to lather up shampoo and body wash as well. 
Awa Hour

    This is the official Awa Hour video, How to Make Rich Lather with Awa Hour.


        Many Japanese people say that a Japanese foaming net made a skincare revolution for women in Japan, and Awa Hour is the second revolutionary facial wash gadget. Indeed, I'm thinking about purchasing it now. :)





3. Daiso Japan Facial Cleansing Foam Maker Whippurun (ほいっぷるん)
100 yen
Can be purchased at Daiso Japan.
Daiso Japan Facial Cleansing Foam Maker
     After Awa Hour, Daiso Japan started selling this facial wash foamer in 2016, and it is one of the best-selling Daiso beauty products now. While Awa Hour is 1080 yen, Daiso one is only 100 yen and can lather up facial wash as well. Because this is extremely popular now, it is often sold out at Daiso in Japan!
Daiso Japan Facial Cleansing Foam Maker



Awa Hour vs Daiso Foam Maker
       Many Japanese people review that Awa Hour is better quality than Daiso one. Awa Hour can create larger amount of thick lather, and can lather up quicker than Daiso one. Many Japanese women use it one to two times a day, so if you use it every day, I think Awa Hour is not expensive at all. 



     



     These are also my entries you might like.
3 Reasons Why I Love Awa Hour, the Best Japanese Beauty Gadget!

Two Important Things You Should Know to Wash Your Face - Japanese Beauty Secrets!

Top 5 Life-Changing Japanese Beauty Products   
 
Top 5 Most Popular Japanese Charcoal Soap
 

10 Best Japanese Beauty Products on Amazon Japan, You Can Also Purchase Them at Drugstores in Japan

7 Best Japanese Beauty Products 2016 Hall of Fame 

The Most Popular Facial Sheet Masks in Japan

Top 7 Japanese Facial Sheet Masks That Rescue Your Dry Skin

3 Best Japanese Sunscreen Products to Try This Summer

5 Best Japanese Facial Lotion (Toner), Kesyou-sui

Top 5 Most Popular Japanese Pore Minimizer  

4 Reasons Why I Love Kose Softymo Cleansing Oil

12 Best Affordable Japanese Beauty Products

Best Japanese Beauty Products of 2015

Top 5 Japanese Sunscreen Products

Top 3 Most Popular Japanese Eyelash Curlers

The Best Japanese Shampoo & Conditioner

5 Best Japanese Deep Conditioning Hair Masks

Review : Shiseido Tsubaki Damage Care Hair Water - It's the Best Japanese Hair Care Product!

The Best Japanese Hair Dryer, Panasonic Nano Care Hair Dryer

Top 3 Daiso Beauty Products



     My entries related to Best Japanese Beauty Products can be seen here.

     My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.

     My entries related to beauty can be seen here.

     My entries related to Japan can be seen here.





Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Nukazuke, Japanese Pickles

     This week, I made nukazuke (ぬかづけ, 糠漬け), a type of Japanese pickle made by fermenting vegetables in rice bran (nuka), for my first time. Tonight, my husband and I had these pickles, and we really loved them. They were salty and had umami, so they were perfect with steamed white rice. :)  However, I don't know if you like nukazuke because it might taste too Japanese to you.
       When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to make nukazuke from scratch in Japan. Making traditional nukazuke is not easy at all. You need to prepare nukadoko (糠床, ぬかどこ), which contains rice bran, salt water and etc. Then, add your favorite vegetables, and you need to stir them well with your hand one to two times a day for months. The nukadoko has the live active organisms such as lactobacilli which increases umami in it. I had never thought I would make nukazuke because it sounds a lot of work to me. However, I found this easy nukazuke kit, Chiyoda Momina (チヨダ もみーな), which was on sale at Tokyo Central, a Japanese supermarket in the U.S. I am sometimes surprised that Tokyo Central has many interesting Japanese products!  Anyway, I decided to try it for my first time.

     According to the instruction, just open the pack of nukadoko, and move it into the pack. Add vegetables and massage the package. Keep it in a refrigerator for 10 to 36 hours. Rinse the pickles and enjoy!

     You can add cucumbers, carrots, Japanese radishes and eggplants. You can repeatedly use the same nukazuke pack until nukadoko becomes watery (Usually you can use it about 4 to 8 times). When it's time to replace the nukazuke pack, it suggests that you should add fish or squids for the final nukazuke.  

      We decided to make cuccumber and Japanese radish nukazuke first.

       If truth be told we totally forgot about our nukazuke. After keeping it in our refrigerator for 48 hours (usually up to 36 hours), I took them out of it. Then, I rinsed them with running water.  

   Then, I cut and served them. It was incredibly easy! Today, I added some baby carrots in the nukazuke pack. I'm looking forward to how my carrot nukazuke turns out. :)  The only problem I found is that we cannot eat so many pickles at a time...  
Nukazuke


    My entries related to cooking can be seen here.

    My entries related to my favorite recipes can be seen here.

    My entries related to foods my husband cooked can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japanese instant ramen can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japanese noodles can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.

    My entries related to Best Japanese Beauty Products can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japan can be seen here.




       These are also my entries you might like.

■What I Bought at Japanese Supermarkets

■Top 10 Products You Should Buy at Japanese Supermarkets (for Beginners!)

■Don Quijote (Donki) Haul - What He Got in Japan

■8 Interesting Japanese Kitchen Gadgets!

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Snacks

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Sweets

■Top 10 Most Popular Japanese Foods 

■My Top 15 Must Eat Foods in Japan - My Favorite Japanese Foods

■How to Make Japanese Deep Fried Chicken, Kara-Age

■How to Cook Japanese Curry

■How to Cook Miso Soup

■How to Cook Japanese White Cream Stew

■How to Cook Soboro Don, Japanese Scrambled Meat And Egg Bowl

■How to Cook Easy Teriyaki Chicken